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Thumb Arrow Back Chair, 1825 | Joseph Very
A hand made wooden thumb back / arrow back chair that was made in Eastport, Maine by chair maker, Joseph Very. It dates to about 1822. Written in stencil on the underside of the chair seat are the words: “Warranted, Eastport by J. Very.” Little is known about Very. He evidently was born in Salem, Massachusetts in about 1793 and moved to Eastport some time in the early 19th century. He began making wooden chairs shortly after this and quickly became involved in a chair making war with a competing business person selling chairs in Eastport. An advertisement by Very in the Eastport Sentinel of April 13, 1822 reads: “Great Cry and Little Wool. The Subscriber observing a puffing advertisement in the last Eastport Sentinel, ‘City Chairs’ is induced to inform the public that he has taken a shop in this place … where he now carries on the Chair Making Business in its various branches. Although he cannot, with propriety, give his work the title of ‘city chairs’ (which a certain chair vender calculates a great recommendation) yet he will give them a more substantial title, that of WARRANTED CHAIRS, a name which he thinks the ‘city chairs’ are not entitled to, and will suit purchasers far better in the end.” Two years later, in 1824, Very was still advertising his Warranted Chairs along with his intentions of going into the painting business which he claimed he had 16 years of experience in. The chair was purchased by the Tides Institute from an individual in Eastport in 2018 just before the chair was to go up for auction. Very died in Eastport in 1831 at the age of 38. Photo Caption: Hand made wooden thumb back / arrow back chair that was made in Eastport, Maine by chair maker, Joseph Very. It dates to about 1822. Old Accession Number: 3019 Chair made in Eastport, Maine, c.1825. Purchased from Ruth McInnis in 2018. Name of maker and Eastport is on bottom of seat reads: Warranted by J.[Joseph] Very, Eastport. Advertisement from Eastport Sentinel, March 27, 1824, p. 3: House, Ship & Sign Painting. The Subscriber informs the Public, that he intends carrying on the PAINTING BUSINESS in the above branches the ensuing season, and having had sixteen years experience in the business, feels confident of getting ample satisfaction to this employers. Constantly on hand at his Shop in Boyenton-street, (one door east of Capt. Swett's Hotel) a dozen warranted CHAIRS (not city made) which will be sold low for cash or exchanged for the going currency of the place (i.e.) Pollock Fish, Herring, Oil or Lumber. Employment solicited by the public's Humble Servant, JOSEPH VERY. Eastport, March 27 ________ Eastport Sentinel, March 2, 1831: Deaths: In Eastport, 24 Feb 1831, Maj. Joseph VERY, 38y, f/o Salem, MA