Most of the furniture in the Library's collections reflects the 18th-century era of its founding. From the first purchase of a distinctive set of Windsor chairs to the gift of a chair owned by Governor Benedict Arnold, the Decorative Arts Collection of Redwood has grown through generous donations. Among these are a fine pair of celestial and terrestrial globes given by George Tiffany and a chandelier brought from England by Mrs. Guy F. Cary.
Of major significance is an exquisite card table (c. 1760) attributed to legendary Newport furniture craftsman John Townsend. Two Townsend-made mahogany trays were also part of this donation from a descendant, Ellen Townsend, as was a collection of Townsend-Easton family china and silver by Samuel Vernon and Samuel Casey.
Although some items are displayed in public areas, others may be seen by appointment only. Please contact the Library when making plans to visit to view specific furniture pieces at (401) 847-0292 to make sure we can accomodate your request.
Chippendale mahogany console, attributed to John Goddard
Among the treasures from the furniture collection are two tallcase clocks - a William Claggett longcase built in Newport, RI, c. 1728 and a Goldsmith longcase c. 1870 built in London. The William Claggett clock is Redwood's most outstanding testament to the remarkable craftsmanship of Newport's Golden Age. Once owned by a seafaring family, this clock has a special dial that indicates the time of high tide. The black japanned case with its pastoral Chinoiserie figures and sarcophagus hood may also have been made in Newport.