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New furniture on display at Otis House

October 30, 2014

Hancock sofa

New this week, see two extraordinary pieces of furniture made in Massachusetts on display at Otis House in Boston.

A rare Neoclassical sofa (1825-30) made by William Hancock, a successful furniture manufacturer and upholsterer working in Boston, is now on view in the parlor. The piece is a recent addition to Historic New England’s collection and one of five nearly identical surviving examples. Because the modern upholstery was in poor condition, we carefully restored it using a more appropriate textile, a reproduction red damask based on a William Hancock-labeled cushion in our collection for many years.

Otis House sideboard

In the dining room, see a beloved sideboard in our collection since the 1920s. Until recently, we believed it was made in London in 1815 for a house on Beacon Hill. However, while visiting our furniture storage facility in Haverhill, furniture scholar Robert Mussey looked at the piece for the first time and within minutes declared the sideboard was made by Thomas Seymour, Boston’s greatest cabinetmaker in the early nineteenth century.

Visit Otis House to see these new additions and other pieces featured as part of Historic New England’s collaboration in Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture.

Explore more of Historic New England's furniture collection.

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New furniture on display at Otis House