Eldred Wheeler is the fulfillment of a desire to create fine furniture in the same manner as early American cabinet makers. Our own interest in colonial American furniture, coupled with the limited number of antique originals, prompted us to find a way to build authentic, affordable pieces. Each Eldred Wheeler edition is created by hand and maintains the same traditions as the 18TH Century craftsmen in the areas of design, materials, joinery, carving & finishing.
We select wide boards of cherry, maple and tiger maple for hand-planning and scraping, then, classic 18TH Century joinery techniques are used to assemble each design. Finishing is done by hand using time–tested formulas. We believe that the end result is unique furniture for which elicits the same excitement produced by comparable antiques.
We are proud of our work and truly enjoy creating furniture for people who appreciate 18TH Century American antiques and wish to own selected pieces in the style and workmanship of earlier craftsman.
Country High Style
As the American Colonies began to break their cultural and political ties to Europe in the 18th Century, colonial cabinetmakers sought to adapt the traditional forms of English and French furniture to a uniquely American style and sensibility. At Eldred Wheeler we are proud to carry on this tradition of rural cabinetmaking and Country High Style furniture.
Colonial American craftsmen utilized construction techniques like the dovetail and mortis and tenon joints to allow for natural expansion and contraction of solid wood with changes in humidity. Today it is common to find these joints holding securely after 200 years of use. At Eldred Wheeler we use the same time-proven construction techniques for all of our furniture. Each piece is then hand planed and scraped to achieve a surface typical of fine antiques.
Another Important feature of early American furniture is hand-carving. The quality of 18th Century carving is not easily matched today. Our carvers, have spent years developing their skills and each craftsmen’s awareness of furniture design helps him capture the unique expression and character of 18th Century carvings.
Rural cabinetmaking in colonial New England necessitated use of locally harvested timber. Common primary woods include maple, cherry, walnut and birch. In keeping with this tradition we scour New England for the finest tiger maple and cherry timber for our solid wood furniture, favoring boards of dramatic width, grain and figure.
We finish each piece by hand with multiple coats of shellac. Through years of experimentation we have developed a final appearance that duplicates the experience of antique patina. We make this investment in our finish, understanding that fine, handmade and properly finished furniture will appreciate in value over time as do quality antiques. Each Eldred Wheeler edition is finished to order and fitted with the finest cast brasses. A care card accompanies each piece.