Historic Church Artifacts - Reviewed

As requested by the Historical Committee, and through the assistance of Mike Margulies, we found an antique dealer who will assist us with evaluating and preserving some of our historic items. Robert and Mary Schenck for many years worked out of Princeton, NJ and now live in the house in Finesville that was once occupied by artist Pauline and Dan Campanelli.  Bob specializes in 18th century and earlier American furniture. He visited with Charlotte and me at the Church on Dec. 17 for about two hours reviewing many items. The following are highlights of his findings.

Chancel Chair: 1840-1860. Probably on the older side of these dates because style changes arrived slowly in our “outback” area. The paint is original (in opposition to the Jesse Stamets letter of 1964) Bob was mystified by the small nicks and dings on the insides of the arms until I mentioned Jesse’s letter told of a cloths basket “always” kept on the old chair at the Feit farm. The marks very much matched what an old wicker cloths basket would do. A bad job of varnish or shellac was applied sometime after the paint but before the wear damage. This was not a production machine made chair. Tooling marks and age indicate it was handmade of tulip poplar, very likely of local origin.

Table with broken marble top: (in lobby) Empire Style – 1880-1890 – value under $500. Replacement of broken stone may cost more than value of table. No historical advantage to keeping or replacing the broken marble top.

Table with round marble top: (in the front of the church) is called a parlor table from about 1860.

Pulpit – winglap style: Bob was not familiar with “winglap style” which our history calls it. He said it could be pre 1834 which allows it to be from our second church but could not say if it was pre 1790 (closing of first church). He will check out “winglap”

Wooden Lectern and Baptismal Font: (alter area) seem to be a set and date from the 1880’s

Objects in Historical Cabinets: No items of extreme monetary value requiring special handling or insurance issues were found. Of course our church values all its historic treasures.

Deed properly preserved?:Bob could not verify that the front mat and back window board were acid free. We should have this checked by a professional.

Portrait of Thomas C. Prichard: 1870’s – 1880’s very likely in the original frame that needs work.

Bob gave us the name of someone he considered qualified to provide more information or assistance with the last two items. We will make use of their assistance in the future and recommend them to members of the congregation who may have need of such service.

Many thanks to:

Robert & Mary Schenck                                                               Crystal Cosworth

RMS Antiques                                                                            Swan Creek Gallery

Finesville, NJ                                                                              Lambertville, NJ

908-268-9025                                                                            609-397-5441


Edited By: Dave & Charlotte Morris

Contact Info


St. James Lutheran Church
1213 US Highway 22
Phillipsburg, NJ  08865

P: 908-454-2864

Holiday Vendor Fair

Save the Date!
December 10, 2016
Sat, 9:00AM - 3:00PM

Still looking for vendors to support the 7th Annual event!