Friday, September 30, 2011

Thomas Day Artifacts.

I chose to focus on his bold and expressive woodwork.
The main thing that I found show very fine detail in them such as in his wood work on staircases in the Bartlett Yancey House and the Bass House. 

This is the Central Hall Staircase in the Bartlett Yancey House.
 This shows the fine detail he puts into making the stair brackets for the Bass House. 
The above picture shows the the Parlor Niche, Bartlett Yancey House.  It creates a bold 3D effect that energizes the parlor. 

Source: Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color by Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll.

Thomas Day Artifacts

Thomas Day Craftsmanship
by Kelsey Walker

This is Mahogany veneer made in the 1840s by Thomas Day.  This piece really shows his craftsmanship with what curves and decorative pieces on the furniture with the tools they had to work with back then.

Walnut bench made by Thomas Day in 1958 for the Gov. of Rockingham.  I think adding this piece to the collection shows how famous he was in that he was commissioned to make furniture for very wealthy people of that time period.

This is a poplar and yellow pine cabinet made by Thomas Day in 1854.  I like this piece for the collection because it is simple and reflects his craftsmanship.

Photo credits:  and

Thomas Day Artifacts

By: Sarah Harris
Information and images based on the book: 
Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color
By Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll

Day created many mantels with these serpentine friezes. Although many of them share a lot of similarities, few are identical. 

He also created mantels with friezes called "open-book" friezes that contained opposing reverse ogee curves that meet in the middle therefore looking like an open book. 

Lastly were his flat mantel friezes where the front of the mantel was flat but the lower edge of the mantel mimicked the undulating forms of his serpentine friezes. 

Pictures form 

Thomas Day Artifacts

Probably the most famous piece of his furniture. I think this is mahogany.

Thomas Day Sofa

This is a sofa. Notice the attention to deatail in the curvature of the arms. Re-examining the foot I have decided this not an animal style but based around the nautilus shape, possibly the golden mean.

The attention to detail is evident in the symmetry of his decorative motifs. Also the use of mahogany adds design and color to the furniture.

Thomas Day Artifacts

Thomas Day was a Free African American furniture maker.
He has a very distinct style that include:
Curves and Scrolls
Expert Veneer Work
Dovetail Joints

An interesting fact about Thomas Day was not only was he a Free African America, but he owned slaves of his own, which was very rare during this time.
The furniture he made was designed for the wealthy.He made several different types of furniture. For example, Chairs, Tables, Pews, Stair Cases,Cabinetry, and more.
At one point in time he was one of the most successful furniture makers in North Carolina.

There is a book written on him and his furniture called The furniture of Thomas Day: A Reevaluation which was written by Jonathan Prown.
There is also an exhibit that displays some of days work which is located in Raleigh North Carolina.