Characteristics of Shaker Furniture
Shaker furniture is characterized by a lack of ornamental design in the woodwork. These founding principles date back to 1821, when a written doctrine was established known as the Millennial Laws. This doctrine established the conduct of Shakers’ lives and defined what was proper and improper under the laws.The doctrine held architectural standards to ensure standardization in communities. This is not so much different in today’s time with “gated communities” and “homeowners’ associations” often dictating how a structure can be built including design, builder choice, size and location.
The hallmark values of Shaker-furniture are fine craftsmanship, utility and simplicity. It was held that ornamentation would not be practiced by believers, and therefore what we know today is a simple, utilitarian design was born. It was believed that all things were done in the spirit of religion. The commitment to spirituality fostered perfection in craftsmanship with no shortcuts taken. Shaker furniture pieces are highly sought after in today’s market. Their simple elegance highlights an important time in American history. The meticulous design makes for a beautiful example of wooden furniture and an elegant gem for any family fortunate to have these pieces in their family.