J. & J.W. Meeks

Over the years, the Meeks' companies produced furniture for the middle class up to the aristocracy in the Empire, Gothic, and Rococo Revival forms.

The most notable pieces in todays market are the Rococo items in patterns such as "Stanton Hall, "Hawkins", and "Henry Ford". Meeks Rococo pieces were at earlier times confused with and attributed to John Henry Belter.

Meeks as a business name first appears in New York Directories in 1797 for Joseph and Edward Meeks. The chronology of the family and it's involvement in the business is as follows:

  • 1797 - Joseph and Edward Meeks begin
  • 1801 - Joseph embarks on his own
  • 1820s - John and Joseph W. (sons of Joseph) join Joseph Sr. Washington, William H., and John Jr. may have also been active in the firm at a later time.
  • 1821 - Joseph W. opens a warehouse in New Orleans
  • 1832 - Joseph's son, Theodore takes charge of the New Orleans store while Joseph returns to New York
  • 1833 - J & JW Meeks have an organized system of outlets in place from Boston to New Orleans
  • 1834 - Joseph Meeks retires
  • 1838 - Directories show J.W. and T. Meeks & Company
  • 1868 Joseph dies and the family abondons the furniture business to tend to their vast real estate holdings

The Dubrow book, "American Furniture of the 19th Century" recounts an interesting story about Joseph Sr. from The American Furniture Gazette for December 1, 1882: "On November 25, 1781 when the British fleet evacuated New York at the end of the American Revolution, he went down to the Battery to see the British fleet sail off and assisted in hoisting, under the orders of George Washington, the first American flag that ever floated over New York".

According to the book, "Art & Enterprise", "The 1833 Joseph Meeks and Sons advertisement is the earliest known surviving illustrated public record of the products of an American furniture company."

New York Locations:

  • 59 Broad Street - 1797-1808
  • 57 & 59 Broad Street - 1811
  • 61 Broad Street - 1814
  • 43 Broad Street - 1819 - 1826
  • 43 or 45 Broad Street - 1828 - 1833
  • 14 Vessey Street - 1836 - 1855
  • New Orleans Locations:

  • 29 Chartres Street - 1830
  • 29 Chartres and 39 Royal - 1834
  • 23 Chartres Street - 1838
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    Other References

    Victorian Cabinetmakers