Artist Profile

  • john seldon
  • 4
  • john seldon

John Seldon

  • Lived:
  • 1743-1778
  • Worked:
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Style:
  • Cabinetmaker
  • Seldon came from Elizabeth City County near the port of Hampton, a small city directly across the mouth of the James River from Norfolk.  In 1756, the orphaned Seldon was apprenticed to John Brown, a Norfolk carpenter and woodworker.  Wintin five years, Seldon returned to Hampton and began making furniture, but he moved back to Norfolk in 1768 or 1769.  There he remained until early 1776, when his home and shop were destroyed by one of several war related fires that consumed the city.  Seldon immediately relocated to Blanford near Petersburg, where he advertised that he carried on "the CABINET-MAKING business, as formely, in all its branches," adding, "He has also by him, ready made, several dozen of neat mohogany, cherry, and walnut chairs, tables, desks, tea boards, &c." That Seldon enjoyed some measure of success in Blanford is suggested by the fact that he sold furniture valued at £91 to the new Commonwealth of Virginia in 1776 for the use at the Governor's Palace in Williamsburg.  Seldon died at Blanford late in 1777 or early the next year.  Two of pieces are singled out in the book, Southern Furniture 1680-1830: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection, by Ronald Hurst and Jonathan Prown.  The text and image on this biography were taken from the same book [pages 121-3].