The Winterthur Library

The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, Delaware  19735

Telephone: 302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883





Creator:         Irving and Casson                              

Title:               Furniture designs

Dates:             ca.1908-ca.1925

Call No.:         Col. 752

Acc. No.:        79x69, 01x154, 04x109

Quantity:        25 boxes, 2 volumes, 1 folder (7 cu. ft.)

Location:        8 G 1-5






Irving and Casson was a Boston, Massachusetts, firm of interior designers and furniture makers, founded in 1875.  Its specialty was interior woodwork and mantels, but it also made furniture, primarily in the styles of the 17th and 18th centuries.  In 1914 or 1916, the firm merged with A.H. Davenport, a furniture company also located in Boston (both had factories in East Cambridge).  After the merger, the company executed a number of commissions for Gothic Revival churches, including the chapels at Duke University and the University of Pittsburgh.  The company’s last major design commission was for the interiors for the United Nations buildings in New York City, executed in the 1950s.  Irving and Casson-A.H. Davenport went out of business in 1974.





The collection contains a scrapbook with designs and sales information; a volume of drawings; loose photos and drawings; blueprints of furniture; designs for compo, papier maché, and carton pierre pieces; and furniture stock cards, which comprise the bulk of the collection.  The stock cards include a photo of the piece, the name (usually something simple such as “side chair” or more descriptive such as “gate-leg table”), model number, and size.  Occasionally, other information is included, such as price, wood used, or name of a customer.  The blueprints were executed after the merger of Irving and Casson with A.H. Davenport Co.  The blueprints include stock number and size and can usually be matched to the furniture stock cards.  The loose drawings and photos usually are labeled with stock number and sometimes size, price, or notes about manufacturing.  The drawings in the large volume are dated 1908-1910.  Information about size and manufacture is given.  Almost all the designs were inspired by furniture of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.  There are a few pieces that reflect Art Deco and early 20th century designs, but even the phonograph and radio cabinets were based on 18th century furniture styles.


The scrapbook contains sketches and photographs of furniture, designs for chairs, clippings that were probably used for design inspirations, etc., mounted in a volume that served as a list of orders for furniture.  Accounts are arranged by a number that corresponds to a particular piece of furniture (some of which are illustrated in the volume).  Under the number a date, a customer's name, and number of hours of labor are written.  Most of the sketches are of chairs and provide a model number, dimensions, notes about ornamentation, molding, and upholstery.  Several of the drawings contain references to plaster casts, presumably used in manufacturing the pieces.  The chairs represent a wide range of furniture styles that were English or French in origin.  Two shipping labels in the back of the volume are addressed to Irving and Casson/A.H. Davenport Co.


The cards for compo, papier maché, and carton pierre designs show the designs, the stock

numbers, and list the sizes of each piece.  The designs include column capitals; heads of lions, mythological creatures, and winged cupids; shells; and panels. 





The stock cards are divided by furniture form (chairs, sofas, tables,             etc.) and then arranged in stock number order.   





The materials are in English.





Collection is open to the public.  Copyright restrictions may apply.





Scrapbook (acc. 79x69) purchased from N. David Scotti, Providence, R.I.


Stock cards of comp, papier mache, and carton Pierre designs (acc. 01x154.1-.4) purchased from Carmen Valentino.


Stock cards, volume of drawings, blueprints, loose photos and drawings (acc. 04x019) purchased from Martha Ionson, Westwood, Massachusetts.  Mrs. Ionson’s husband was a cabinet maker who had worked at Irving and Casson while a young man.


Accession 16x76: purchased from Jonathan McLean, Fine Furniture.






            A.H. Davenport Co.

            Furniture - Drawings.

            Furniture - Styles.

            Furniture design.

            Furniture making.

            Furniture industry and trade - Massachusetts - Boston.

            Business records - Massachusetts - Boston.

            Chairs - Drawings.

            Chair design.

            Tables – Drawings.

Household electronics.

            Church furniture.

            Decoration and ornament, Architectural.

            Papier-mâché - Catalogs.












Location: 8 G 1-5



Note: items are from acc. 04x19 unless otherwise noted



Vol. 1:             Scrapbook of accounts, designs, etc., 1912-1918 (acc. 79x69)


Vol. 2:             Volume of furniture drawings, 1908-1910



Box 1: Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Bedsteads



Box 2: Stock cards


Folders 1-2:     Blanket and trousseau chests, boxes, coffers

                                    [for additional chests, see acc. 16x76]


Folder 3:          Bookcases, book ends, book rest, book rack, book stand


Folder 4:          Bureaus



Box 3: Stock cards


Folders 1-2:     Bureaus


Folders 3-4:     Cabinets



Box 4: Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Chairs: arm chairs



Box 5: Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Chairs: arm chairs



Box 6: Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Chairs: arm chairs



Box 7: Stock cards


Folders 1-2:     Chairs: arm chairs


Folder 3:          Chairs: church and chapel chairs

                        (see also: Ecclesiastical pieces)


Folder 4           Chairs: easy chairs and wing chairs



Box 8: Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Chairs: easy chairs and wing chairs


Folder 5:          Chairs: miscellaneous: cottage, desk, high, Italian, Morris, office, wicker, and Windsor chairs



Box 9: Stock cards


Folder 1:          Chairs: rocking chairs


Folders 2-4:     Chairs: side chairs



Box 10: Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Chairs: side chairs



Box 11: Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Chairs: side chairs


Folder 5:          Chairs: swivel chairs



Box 12: Stock cards


Folders 1-2:     Chests of drawers, chiffarobes, chiffoniers, wardrobes

                                    [for additional chests, see acc. 16x76]


Folder 3:          Clocks, and a humidor


Folder 4:          Desks, writing tables, secretaries


Box 13: Stock cards


Folders 1-2:     Desks, writing tables, secretaries


Folders 3-4:     Dressing tables, vanity cases



Box 14: Stock cards


Folders 1-2:     Ecclesiastical pieces: kneelers, pews and stalls, crosses, Stations of the Cross, prie-dieus, figures (statures and carvings), hymn boards, lecterns, reredos, frame for stations, prayer desks

(see also Chairs: church and chapel)


Folder 3:          groups of furniture


Folder 4:          Hat trees, clothes poles, costumiers


Folder 5:          Highboys and lowboys



Box 15: Stock cards


Folder 1:          Mirrors


Folder 2:          Miscellaneous pieces: unnamed item (desk for bank customers?), cupboard, flower stand, ink well, mazer, newel post, pedestal, tray, trunk stand, umbrella stand, waste basket, Welsh dresser, wood box or basket


Folder 3:          Night tables (also called bed-side tables or somnos)


Folder 4:          Phonograph, radio, and telephone chests, cabinets, and tables



Box 16: Stock cards


Folder 1:          Picture and mirror frames


Folder 2:          Screens and fire screens


Folders 3-5:     Sideboards



Box  17: Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Sofas, settles, settees, chaises longues, day beds



Box 18: Stock cards


Folder 1:          Sofas, settles, settees, chaises longues, day beds


Folder 2:          Stands


Folders 3-4:     Stools, foot stools, ottomans, benches, seats



Box 19: Stock cards


Folders 1-2:     Stools, foot stools, ottomans, benches, seats



Boxes 20-24:   Stock cards


Folders 1-4:     Tables



Box 25:


Folder 1:          Blueprints for furniture


Folder 2:          Drawings of furniture


Folder 3:          Photos: beds; bureaus; cabinets


Folder 4:          Photos: chairs: arm chairs, easy chairs


Folder 5:          Photos: chairs: side chairs


Folder 6:          Photos: chests and bills for chests, made out to Thos. G. Plant and M.M. Dobyne


Folder 7:          Photos: desks; ecclesiastical furniture; mirror; sideboard; sofas; tables


Folder 8:          Booklets about the company, one about “Restoration at Harvard Business School,” and the other about work done at various places, neither dated, probably circa 1970 [no accession number]



Box 26: photographs


Folders 1-5:     photos which came in an envelope marked “Chests. 8” (acc. 16x76.1-.52]

                                    The photos are mostly of blanket chests, but also include a few chests of drawers and cabinets.  Most have a stock number, but sometimes the numbers on the front and back of the photo are not the same.  Some of the photos are dated (1908-1924).  Most of photos include name of customer, or note that a piece is “stock.”  Almost all break down the components of the price: milling, carving, cabinet, finishing, hardware, overhead, etc.  Some of the photos are identical to those on the stock cards in the boxes above.



Box 27: (large folder)


Acc. 01x154.1-.4        sample cards of compo, papier maché, and carton pierre designs available from Irving and Casson; each card shows pictures of designs, each with a number, and the sizes of each.  The designs include column capitals; heads of lions, mythological figures, and winged cupids; shells; and panels.