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Amish Shaker Style Furniture

Amish Shaker Style Furniture

The Shaker furniture style owes its name to an 18th Century religious sect, popularly known then as the “Shaking Quakers. ” A small group led by Mother Ann Lee came to America from England in 1774 and other communities followed. Formally known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, the religion’s nickname “Shakers” came from trembling and other movements made by its followers during worship.

Although the numbers of Shakers in the United States have dwindled, their furniture style lives on, especially among Amish artisans. Its design is straightforward, simple and practical. At the same time, Shaker pieces show some distinctive features, such as arches in frames and flared legs, which distinguish them from the Mission style and other furniture traditions. Shaker construction also was known for durability.

Our Amish woodworkers build Shaker furniture by hand now, as is their general practice. But Shakers would mass-produce chairs to keep pace with growing numbers in their communities. The chairs were such a success that commercial factories eventually imitated them. Shaker-built furniture also was noted for its quality. Shaker artisans believed that the work of making a good product itself was a prayer to God. They had a motto, which was attributed in one source to Mother Ann Lee: “Do your work as though you had 1,000 years to live, and as if you were to die to tomorrow.” ByAmish brings you a Shaker furniture collection that stands the test of time and lives up to the distinctive heritage of its original makers.

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