Ladder Back Rocking Chair, Human Effigy Arm Terminuses

Extraordinary Example of Colonial and Native American Collaboration. The arm terminals carved with faces are in the manner of the Penobscot Indians. Coastal New England, Likely New Hampshire, or Maine

Ladder Back Rocking Chair, Human Effigy Arm Terminuses, Image 1

An Extraordinary Example of Colonial and Native Collaboration Likely made by a Native American employed in the coastal New England furniture making industry. The cross-cultural aesthetics combined work in concert seducing the eye, mind, and soul.

Featured are the standards of fine furniture making, a vocabulary of graceful turnings; finials surmounting rear posts display an inventive spirit all this enhanced by the painted surface displaying a soulful patina combine naturally with the Native hand- woven ash splint seat and carefully carved human effigy arm finials presenting a soft reductive visage, balanced proportion, and impassive gaze.

The human effigy within Eastern Woodlands culture is emblematic and distinct from other representations of the human form and often represents a guardian spirit, or a "chiefly" designation.

The original woven seat is made of hand cut ash splints, typically shaped by a crooked knife, is undoubtedly of Native manufacture. Native crafts people of this time are known for their 'chair bottoming.' The combined "best in class" Native and non- Native aesthetics, from such a specific time and place allow the unknown makers of this remarkable chair to come to life again.

Date: 18th Century

Measurement: Height: 46", Width: 24", Depth: 26.5"

Material: Maple, ash splint seat, undisturbed black painted surface, varnish

Condition: The wonderful and original painted surface displays deep rich crackled patina and is worn at stretchers and arm rests; note the wonderful time worn wear patterns at arms, shoulder, and leg positions

Reference: See; Nan Wolverton, American Indian Baskets Made in New England, Antiques Magazine, January 2004 for a discussion of Native woven splint seat bottoms.

Provenance: The rocker surfaced in New England form an unknown picker many years ago Skinners Auction, Bolton, Massachusetts James Economos , Santa Fe, New Mexico via private sale from above Peter Bram, Brooklyn, NY Trotta-Bono, NY Nathan Liverant & Son, CT Ned Jalbert, Florida

Under Consideration, Please inquire

SKU: 1029-67

For More Information, Please Contact David Hillier at 978-597-8084 or email

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