The Stairwell Room:
18th Century State House Wall

Apprentice cabinetmakers Francis Pavlak and Brian Weldy work in the Anthony Hay Cabinetmaker's Shop

Medium: Photo by David M. Doody, 2011
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

State House - Stairwell Room   

Annapolis: A Center of Colonial Style


Before the Revolutionary War, Annapolis was a vibrant center of commerce and trade with a thriving circle of artisans including cabinetmakers, silversmiths, and carvers. Evidence of the skill and artistry of these craftsmen is found in the architecture of Annapolis’s finest 18th-century houses, as well as in furniture and decorative arts that survive in private and museum collections.

The most well-known Annapolis cabinetmaker, Scottish-born John Shaw, is documented to have returned to his native country at least twice between 1772 and 1775, bringing back with him the latest designs from Britain. His friend, Charles Willson Peale, is known to have painted Shaw’s portrait, although an image has never been found.

This photograph shows how a typical cabinetmaker’s shop would have appeared in the 18th century.

KEy Images on the
Wall

Apprentice cabinetmakers Francis Pavlak (l) and Brian Weldy(r) work in the 
Anthony Hay Cabinetmaker's Shop, 2011
Front Elevation of the State House
General George Washington Resigning His Commission

The Ground Plan of the STATE-HOUSE at ANNAPOLIS
View of Annapolis
Advertisement, Maryland Gazette, December 17, 1783

Key Documents on the Wall

Washington's Resignation Speech
Payment to Negro Cardy
Inovice of Johhn Shaw
Letter from Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer to David Stewart

Exhibits in the Stairwell Room

John Shaw # 1 Des