Take a Seat for the Old, Old Jail!

auction button for chairs

 

AUCTION STARTED: Monday, Nov. 10, 2014
AUCTION ENDS: Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014

Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County Historian Rick Warwick first became interested in local chair makers back in 1971, and has since authored books and hosted dozens of exhibits and presentations on historic Williamson County and Middle Tennessee furniture – hand-made sugar chests, samplers and other local heirlooms among them.

Over the last 40 years, Rick has collected more than 200 chairs, focusing on the locals who made them in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and representative examples of different chair styles from each. Now he’s offered 40 prime pieces from the collection to be auctioned in support of the Heritage Foundation’s campaign to save the Old, Old Jail on Bridge Street in downtown Franklin.

Starting Monday, November 10th, an online auction chaired by Lynne McAlister and Wendy Dunavant will allow the public to bid on the chairs, with some starting as low as $150. An event at FirstBank at Five Points on Thursday, November 20 will include a guided tour of local furniture history with Warwick and other interesting educational elements.

Chairs from the collection are showing up in downtown Franklin storefront windows, and the online auction – including some groups of multiple chairs sold in lots, will start on Monday at http://mobilesmartbid.com/store.php?md=1&username=HeritageFoundationTakeASeat.

You can see a few of these chairs in person by visiting the following downtown Franklin merchants:

  • The Registry – “Dorcas” was created by ex-slave Dick Poyner (1802-1882) at a chair factory on Pinewood Road. It features maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and a hickory seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Lulu – “Bernice” was also crafted by Dick Poyner, this chair features maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and an old cane seat.
  • The Cellar on Main – “Eugenia” is described as a fancy side chair with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and hickory bark seats woven by Rick Warwick. The maker is unknown.
  • The Heirloom Shop – “Silas” was also made by Dick Poyner. It’s described as a side chair with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs with an elm bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Shoppes on Main – “Lucien” was found in Williamson County and features the initials “NB”. It’s made from hickory posts, slats, rungs and a bark seat. Also featured here is “Effie” which was purchased at the estate sale of Laura May Miller (Mrs. William). It’s described as a Knob Side Chair with maple posts, hickory slats and rungs. The oak seat was woven by Will Poyner.
  • Vue Optique – “Elijah” was crafted by ex-slave Dick Poyner (1802-1882) and features maple posts and slats, hickory rungs, original split seat with original Spanish brown paint.
  • Yarrow Acres – “Enoch Elliott” is a mid-19th century chair that was crafted at the Tennessee State Penitentiary. It includes maple posts and slats, hickory rungs, original paint and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Bob Parks Realty – The “Bedford Brothers” chairs are believed to be from Maury or Marshall County. They are Knob Side chairs with maple posts, hickory slats and rungs with hickory bark seats woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Rare Prints Gallery – The “Thompson Twins” chairs were found in Leiper’s Fork. They are Knob Side chairs with maple posts, hickory slats and rungs and hickory bark seats woven by Rick Warwick.
  • FirstBank – “General Beauregard” was crafted by Robert Parker (1856-1915). It comes from Bakertown, TN in Hickman County. It’s described as an armed rocker with maple posts, arms and slats, hickory rungs and an oak split seat.
  • Landmark Bank – “Josephine” was found in Maury County. The maker is unknown. It is a heart-shaped-slat side chair with maple posts, hickory slats and rungs and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Gallery 202 – “Vestal Coffin” was crafted by ex-slave Dick Poyner. It is an armed rocker with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs, walnut rockers and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Shuff’s Music – “Fannie Mae” was found in Franklin and the maker is unknown. It is described as a triple ring side chair with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs, old green paint and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • The Red House – “Jedediah” was crafted by Dick Poyner at a chair factory on Pinewood Road. It’s an armed rocker with maple posts, arms and slats, hickory rungs, an old finish and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Puckett’s – “Scarlet” was found in the Cool Springs area. It’s described as a knob side chair with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.
  • Bittersweet Primitives – “Hazel” was crafted by George W. Baker (1883-1955) in Kinderhook, Maury County, TN. It’s described as an armed rocker with maple posts and slats, hickory rungs and a hickory bark seat woven by Rick Warwick.

Since 1968, the not-for-profit Heritage Foundation’s mission has been to protect and preserve the architectural, geographic and cultural heritage of Franklin and Williamson County, and to promote the ongoing economic revitalization of downtown Franklin in the context of historic preservation.

Go here to view the auction, which opens on November 10th!

 This classic ladderback chair with original paint and great patina was made by inmates at the Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 1880s.

This classic ladderback chair with original paint and great patina was made by inmates at the Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 1880s.