The Enfield, Connecticut Shaker Rocker
Beginning in 2016, the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon has partnered with Tappan Chairs to offer a limited edition handmade reproduction of a special rocking chair from its collection.
This rocking chair, a fine example of the work of early chair makers at Enfield, Connecticut, is typical of Enfield rocking chairs – made of figured maple with stretchers of a courser grained wood (probably hickory), with front posts and three-inch diameter mushroom-shaped handholds turned from a single piece of wood, four back slats, minimally shaped rockers that do not protrude beyond the front posts, and finials at the top of the back posts that are typical of Enfield chairs.
The original Enfield, CT Shaker Rocker, in the collection of the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon.
Starting in the spring of 2016, we made multiple (400 mile!) research trips to the collections storage at the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon in order to create an accurate but modern version of the Enfield rocker--including the crafting of two separate prototypes.
The completed first piece of the new, limited edition Enfield, CT Shaker Rocker.
The finished product features pinned joinery, scribed mortises, mushroom-topped front posts, and filed slats. Made from authentically stained and sealed maple and ash, and seated with a natural rush bottom, the only variations from the original are a slightly larger seat area and longer rockers to prevent tipping.
The first piece made its debut at the annual fundraising gala for the Museum in August 2016, appearing here in the ruins of the Shakers' Great Stone Barn.
Only 20 reproduction rockers are available and each is numbered and stamped. A significant portion of the proceeds from all sales--nearly 30%--benefits the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon. To order for local pick-up in the Old Chatham, New York area, please contact the museum at 518-794-9100. To choose a different wood, finish, or a woven tape seat, and for all orders that must be shipped, you can order here!