For this year’s Summer Trip, the Guild will be visiting Tappan Chairs in Sandwich, NH. Tappan Chairs is a business specializing in the ladder back style of chair, the designs of which have evolved directly from mid-19th century patterns used by Daniel Tappan and his children. The seventh and latest owner in this nearly two-hundred-year-old dynasty of stewards is our host Adam Nudd-Homeyer.
Tappan Chairs has been located in historic Sandwich for its entire existence, and a touchstone of the business is the continued use of a range of historic tools, machinery, and techniques that have been there since the earliest days. The oldest piece is a massive, wood-framed hand lathe, whose ways are fashioned from nothing more than a pair of hewn timbers pinned together. Likely dating to the mid-19th century, this lathe is still used in hand-turning finials and front posts of arm chairs, and a 19th century C.H. Cowdrey pattern/back-knife lathe is still used to rough-out the taper on every post. Over the past two centuries each generation of ownership has acquired and incorporated equipment, much of which is now vintage. This includes a very rare and incredibly useful Versatile Saw, made in Henniker, NH in the 1950's and a couple of vintage Shopsmiths--one an original manufacture back to the 1940's, and another from the late 1950's or early 1960's.
Our tour and presentation will be taking place at Tappan Chairs' new location at 6 Skinner St. in downtown Sandwich. This event will in fact be occurring as Adam completes the transition of his business to this new location. Up to this point, he was effectively relegated to "cottage industry," being nested in an old uninsulated, unheated carriage house attached to his old farmhouse. This “new” location is itself is a historic Sandwich structure, dating back to the 1830's. Until ca. 2008 in fact it was nearly continuously operated as a general store, and also was the birthplace of the Sandwich Home Industries, the original forerunner to the League of NH Craftsmen. The new location will have a workshop where the chairs will be cut, turned, assembled, and finished, and a museum to the history of the business. His showroom will be in an adjoining structure that was an undertaker and casket shop in the mid-19th century, and later became a revival church.
It is likely that there will still be a lot in the works at the time of the tour, although Adam expects to have all major pieces in place. We will see his two oldest pieces (lathes dating back to the 1800's) as well as other more recent, but still antique curiosities. He will have both physical as well as media presentations showing and discussing how the chairs are made--which is still largely based in historical greenwood methods - and images of the machines doing their stuff. He will detail the development of his collaboration with the last living Shakers in Maine, for whom Tappan Chairs is the only authorized chairmaker in the world. We will see the actual prototypes of those chairs, as well as a number of historical 150+ year old examples of Tappan Chairs, and even the patterns used to make them (old story sticks and templates!).
Afterwards, there is a great cafe, and also a tasty pub right up the road on the town green where people can get a snack or grab a lunch.
Please be aware that there is a scammer answering these ads. Be careful!!!!
I recommend that you only take CASH or checks from people you know. Very little of the stuff that is advertised is so rare or such a great deal that someone would hire an “agent” to ship it.
If you are selling something online, as a business or through classifieds ads, you may be targeted by an overpayment scam.
The scammer will contact you, make you an offer—often quite generous—then make payment through credit card or cheque. They will be for an amount that is greater than the agreed price.
The scammer will contact you with an apology for the overpayment, offering a fake excuse. The scammer might tell you that the extra money was included to cover agent’s fees or extra shipping costs. Or they may just say they simply made a mistake when writing the cheque.
The scammer will then ask you to refund the excess amount or they will ask for you to forward the amount through to a third party. They will ask for this to through an online banking transfer, pre-loaded money card, or a wire transfer such as Western Union. You then discover that their cheque has bounced or the credit card had been a stolen or fake card.
A newer variation on this scam involves online sales, usually through classified sites, where the scammer pretends to have made a payment for a larger than agreed amount through services such as PayPal by sending a fake receipt of payment. The scammer will claim that the money is being held until you forward on the extra money.
If you send any money, you will not get it back. If you have already sent the ‘sold’ item you will lose this as well. At the very least, the scammer will have wasted your time and prevented you from accepting any legitimate offers on your sale.
I just wanted other Sellers to be careful as I see some valuable machines for sale here.