John Chaski, Inc.

American Material Culture

The Loockerman Experience

John Chaski

Did you ever go down the research wormhole of some 18th Century figure and feel like your life was somehow intertwined with theirs?  That's how I've felt about Vincent Loockerman for the last couple months while I've been working on an appraisal.  Learning about his life and legacy has given me a much greater appreciation for the early history of Dover, Delaware.  Loockerman made it his headquarters for trade that would enable him to acquire some of the greatest pieces of Philadelphia Rococo furniture ever made, many of which remained in his home until the 20th century.

  The Loockerman House , 419 South State Street, Dover, Delaware

The Loockerman House, 419 South State Street, Dover, Delaware

That's all well and good but he patronized local craftsmen too, and that's what interests me most of all.  You can see a lot of the extant Loockerman furniture at the Biggs Museum in Dover.  The Loockerman Gallery just off the elevator and stairwell on the second floor does a great job of putting the man and his objects in context.

After that you can walk a couple blocks down State Street and visit the house it was all made for at 419 South, and finally cross Water Street to Christ Church where Vincent and many other significant Delawareans are buried.  It's a pretty unique and immersive experience in the world of decorative arts.  Oh, and have lunch at 33 West Ale House on Loockerman Street.  Feel free to get in touch with me for further reading on the Loockerman family, I would particularly recommend Kate LaPrad's fabulous 2010 thesis on the subject. 

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