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Antique Associates at West Townsend
Antique Furniture

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Queen Anne Easy Chair, Coastal Virginia, Probably Norfolk Area, Circa 1745
American walnut, live oak, mulberry, and red pine by analysis - SOLD



The easy chair frame is in very good structural condition with only trivial minor repairs.
In May of 1990 Alan Miller harvested 11 small wood samples for microscopic
examination by Harry Alden, wood anatomist, who at the time was employed by the
Winterthur Museum. (Now in private practice, the go-to lab) The three-page report
supports American manufacture [report is available to interested parties]. From a design
point of view, if construction details are not considered, considering known American
easy chairs …this example most resembles chairs from New York or the area from
Virginia to South Carolina
. To make a regional attribution with any hope of accuracy, the
chairs design, construction, and wood species details must be considered and
reconciled. Two of the hardwoods in this chair, black walnut, and live oak, are of
unquestionably American origin; collective range is from Northern Virginia south.
(Please call or email Dave to discuss other wood species used in this chair and/or to
receive a three-page report. The chairs quirky construction is likely the product of a rural
or small village shop. It is possible that this chair is from a previously unknown shop in
New York and the live oak came north on coastal shipping…if this were the case, the
spruce and/or red pine could be either local or imported (Unlikely that a rural shop had
access to imported woods). While this theory is certainly possible, a fair amount of
documented New York furniture is known and none of it resembles this chair in terms of
construction mentality. Maryland or Charlestown were considered yet have been
rejected for similar reasons. As for regional attribution, coastal Virginia, or North
Carolina, especially Virginia is favored and logical. Even with this regional attribution we
must patiently wait for a similar chair with known history to present itself, however, the
attribution is reasonable and plausible. In any case, this is a charming and pure, rare
American chair displaying great individual character.

The chair is clearly an 18th century American antique made in what can be
broadly described as the Anglo-American woodworking tradition with construction
details and wood use choices common to no other style center. It is a product of a
professional chairmaker or makers, however the workmanship habits do not correspond
to those of any known urban center and display individualistic mentality which is
internally consistent and, in a way, rational - although very quirky and idiosyncratic
compared to the product of someone with standard apprenticeship training. The chairs
frame, in several aspects, is the easy chair reinvented; its form realized and
approximated in novel ways. The aforementioned suggests a rural, or at least,
enclaved, origin for this chair; its maker could have arrived at his own solutions to the
problems of chair frame construction without pressure to conform to more standard local
practices. If there were no standard local practices, then this pressure would not exist
suggesting that the chairmaker with professional skills but without firsthand easy chair
frame making would logically have invented his own methods to arrive at his idea of the
chair’s joinery and form. Two other general explanations seem possible; the first is that
there existed a shop or regional tradition for technically making chairs like this.
However, if this were so, more chairs made like this should exist and may one day be
published. The second is an extrapolation of the first idea…if a chairmaker were trained
to make chairs using this technique, he could have traveled to a new area and set up
shop making products according to his habit and training.

See, Joseph Downs, American Furniture – Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods; plate
83 for an easy chair of similar design, circa 1745 – 1755, probably Virginia.

See, Southern Furniture 1680 – 1830, The Colonial Williamsburg Collection by Ronald
Hurst and Jonathan Prown, pp. 71 and 72, number 9…a roundabout chair, Tidewater,
Virginia, circa 1740 – 1750, made of walnut; related cabriole leg and turned pad feet.
(Rear feet of our chair are shoed as often found in Virginia)

The Henry Francis Du Pont Winterthur Museum Decorative Arts Photographic
Collection.
66.935 [closely related front and back legs/feet]
Photograph of side chair; Albemarle County, Virginia, 18th Century

Photographs of frame pre-upholstery are available.
Authentication by Alan Miller
Microscopic Wood Identification by Harry Alden, Winterthur Museum

Provenance:

Purchased by James Kilvington [1983] at Wilson’s Auction (Lincoln, Delaware) from the
Dashiell family sale, they settled in Gloucester County, Virginia in the mid-17th century;
members of this family later moved to Dorchester and Wicomico Counties, Maryland. To
Ronald Pook in 1990, to a private Virginia collector.

Dimensions:

Height to top rail: 44.25”, height to armrest at cone: 25.5”, seat height: 16” without
cushion, seat depth: 17.5”, width of top rail: 25.5”, width measured at front of wings: 29”,
armrest with measured at outside of cones: 36.5”.

SOLD
843-296

For further information on this item, or for information on the AAAWT Brokerage Program, please contact David Hillier drh@aaawt.com or 978 597-8084.





Wing Chair, Upholstered Country Make-Do Armchair
Date/Period: 18th century banister back


Wing Chair, Upholstered Country Make-Do Armchair, entire view

Measurement: Height: 44”, width: 24”, seat height: 17”

Material: Mixed woods, paint, homespun wool

Condition: Crest rail is replaced, legs are ended-out beneath stretcher; nail holes
demonstrate many upholstery campaigns.

Additional Information: A small example…elliptical crest rail centering outswept wings
continuing to flaring armrests. The trapezoidal seat is comfortable and is raised on
turned legs jointed by front and side stretchers. The chair was made from a four slat
ladderback which is exposed at the rear. We can see beautifully oxidized wood joining
posts [forming wings] however we have no idea what is under the upholstery.

$975.00

1392-1


Wing Chair, Upholstered Country Make-Do Armchair, entire view 2

Wing Chair, Upholstered Country Make-Do Armchair, entire view 3

Wing Chair, Upholstered Country Make-Do Armchair, detail view

Wing Chair, Upholstered Country Make-Do Armchair, detail view 2



Wing Chair, Upholstered Easy Chair, New England, Federal Period
Date/Period: 1790-1810 - SOLD


Wing Chair, Upholstered Easy Chair, New England, Federal Period, entire view

Measurement: Height: 46.5"; seat height: 18"; width: 35"; depth: 29"

Material: Mahogany legs with mixed wood inlays

Condition: Very good, upholstery is clean

Additional Information: Serpentine crest joining shaped wings above outwardly flared
scrolled arms; elliptical seat raised on tapering inlayed front legs and raking rear legs.

SOLD

449-36


Wing Chair, Upholstered Easy Chair, New England, Federal Period, entire view 2

Wing Chair, Upholstered Easy Chair, New England, Federal Period, entire view 3

Wing Chair, Upholstered Easy Chair, New England, Federal Period, leg view



Windsor Stool, Medium-High Height,
Delicate, Yarn Sewn Top,
Original Surface Unknown maker, circa 1780-1820


Windsor Stool, Medium-High Height,
Delicate, Yarn Sewn Top,
Original Surface Unknown maker, circa 1780-1820, entire view

The circular top features concentric rings turned into the side; beautiful long legs pierce the seat then taper-and-swell to nodules...tapering again to small feet.
(Fine condition; height: 13.5"; seat diameter: 10.5")

$895.00

707-83





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If you are interested in buying any of these items, please call (978) 597-8084 or email David Hillier at drh@aaawt.com

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