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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 717

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This is the grave of Anthony Quervelle.

Born in 1789 in Paris, Quervelle immigrated to the U.S. in 1817, settling in Philadelphia. We know almost nothing about his early life. Probably he was in Napoleon’s army and had nothing left for him in France after 1815. By 1820, he was working as a cabinetmaker and soon became perhaps the best person at this craft in the United States. He soon expanded to all sorts of furniture and had his own warehouse. The Franklin Institute, founded in 1824, began to have competitions in artistic realms and Quervelle won some awards, raising his reputation. Andrew Jackson hired him to make new tables for the East Room in the White House when he became president. He became particularly expert in the use of mahogany in his work. It seems as if he grew wealthy and when he died in 1856, he owned a few houses. But honestly, this is about all we know about him. What we do have is his work, so let’s look at some of that.

1830 table, owned by Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dining room table, evidently now for sale
Card table, 1825-30, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Anthony Quervelle is buried in Saint Mary’s Catholic Churchyard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This grave visit was sponsored by LGM reader donations. Thanks!!! If you would like this series to visit other early American furniture makers, you can donate to cover the required expenses here. Jonathan Gostelowe is also in Philadelphia and Charles Lannuier is in Manhattan. Previous posts in this series are archived here.

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