Original 1855 John Henry Belter Furniture Order Receipt

by John Werry on August 24, 2008

john henry belter receipt Original 1855 John Henry Belter Furniture Order Receipt

Lise Bohm has shared with us an original 1855 receipt that she owns documenting a Belter furniture order by what appears to be Col. B. L. Jordan. I was unable to find anything documented on this Colonel.

The order is for 2 Sofas, 2 armchairs, 4 parlour chairs, 1 centre table, 1 fine Etagere, 1 set of French ?? Dust Covers, 8 packing boxes “at $4 each”, and an itemization, “by difference on extra covering”. All of the furniture is described as “Arabasket Rosewood”, where Arabasket refers to the design. Lise has speculated that it refers to the Fountain Elms pattern. You can click on the receipt to view a larger version.

Thanks, Lise, for sharing this with us.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

james conrad August 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Yeah, great historical document, i wonder if Belter’s hand wrote it?

BTW, Lise has some fabulous victorian furniture on her site, museum quality

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formulagal August 24, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Very interesting. I read the name as Col.B. F. Gordon and found this:

B. F. Gordon’s 5th Missouri Cavalry CS
Killed in the Battle of Mark’s Mill
April 25th, 1864

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formulagal August 24, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Don’t think Col. B. F. Gordon was killed in this battle but a couple of men in Calvary were….

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Tex MacRae August 24, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Here’s an article about the Belter bill:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1026/is_6_154/ai_53450384

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woodwright August 24, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Very cool. Prices seem cheap to us, but 150 years ago – I’m certain that was a lot of money.
I believe the word unidentified in the invoice is: 1 set french CHINTZ dust covers. Chintz is a tight weave fabric w/ a sheen to it (a bit stiff) – can be solid color or more frequently a print. Chintz is also a pattern in china (small repeating flowers – we have some). Google CHINTZ to see examples if interested. woodwright

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misslilybart August 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Yes, it does say “chintz dust covers.”

As woodwright said, today the terminology refers to a glazed cotton furnishing fabric. However, in the 19th century “chintz” had a slightly different meaning; at that time chintz was understood to be cotton fabric printed with a large scale motif, generally but not always multicolored. (Toile de jouy, for example, is a single color chintz.) A chintz could be either glazed or not, with unglazed chintz also being known as “cretonne.”

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