NEWSLETTER, June 2005
From the Editor
I received some information on local hinges from Fr:ank White, of Lebanon, New Jersey, whom we had met last winter when HVVA visited the Voght House in Clinton Township, Hunterdon County, NJ. (see Newsletter Vol. 7, No 2.). That 18th century German stone house with decorative plaster ceilings is still being protected by the State of New Jersey as a historically significant building against its planned destruction by the local public school but so far no use has been found or group has yet adopted it.
Frank sent me pictures of strap hinges from two doors from houses in Clinton Township, NJ. The one illustrated here is associated with a 1735 house in a Dutch settlement in Readington. The other was from a 1750 Palatine German house. He wanted to know if I had ever seen a hinge pad like that on the 1735 Dutch house. I began to document what I think are the early hinges of the Palatine Farmstead House circa 1740, in Rhinebeck, New York, and was surprised to find a similar but more refined example on the remains of a three-batten cellar. door. In this case the hinge has a soft-arrow finial.
<-Strap Hinge from the Cellar Door of the circa 1740 Palatine Farmstead House Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York. (ny/du/rh/0020). This Dutch pad hinge with a soft-arrow finial has a similar nailing pattern to the Readington, New Jersey, example. The wooden batten to which it is nailed is from a later enlargement and reconstruction of the door.
Strap Hinge from the. Kitchen Door, Palatine Farmstead,
Suffolk Latch from the Possible 1740 Front Door Palatine
On the remains of a reused false-panel door, that may have been the front-door to the original circa 1740 Rhinebeck house, there is the imprint of a missing pad hinge with a pointed finial. The cellar door and the false panel door have the same molding profile and so appear contemporary. It seems that the cellar hinge was given an earlier more Dutch style finial while the front door adopts a more English style finial. A door into the early undated kitchen addition has small pad hinges with soft arrow finials.
The decorative Suffolk latch that has survived on the 1740 front door of the Palatine House in Rhinebeck is very unique. Of the 198 Suffolk latches illustrated in Earlv American WrouS!ht Iron, 1979 edition, by Albert H. Sonn, none has the bottom plate turned up as this example does. Perhaps this was done later when the latch was renailed to the door. The decorative feature of the top pad has a German look.
<-Finally the remains of a three-batten door were found in the 1770 barn at the Palatine farmstead in Rhinebeck. It might have been an animal door. The surviving hinge has a pointed finial and a round pad.
Strap Hinge from the 1770 Dutch Barn Palatine Farmstead, Rhinebeck." This hinge from a door fragment found in the barn has adopted a pointed finial. The door is particularly well made with 1.26-inch splines joining the three vertical boards.
The holes are rectangular and the hinge is nailed with the same hand-forged T-headed nails used to construct the door.
Despite the distance from Clinton Township, NJ, to Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY, close to 100-miles, in the 18th century their strap hinges were made pretty much the same, be it for a Dutch or a Palatine German family.
Maggie MacDowell, Secretary
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