image of object
From: Philip and Ann Holzer, Philip and Ann Holzer Collection (1990), 63
Click the image to enlarge

Easy chair


Object number

RIF844

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

120.65 x 92.71 x 58.42 cm (47 1/2 x 36 1/2 x 23 in.); Seat height: 48.26 cm (19 in.)

Date

1760–1780

Current location

Private collection

Geography

Probably made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formerly said to have been made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Mahogany (primary); birch (seat rails and horizontal support at bottom of side panels); maple (crest rail, tops of wings, board running from wings to side seat rails, rear stiles, vertical support under ends of arms, and lower back rail); pine (cones and arm rests)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"X," in graphite, on rear of crest rail, exterior sides of wings, horizontal boards at bottom of sides, exterior of rear seat rail, tops of side seat rails, and exterior of vertical boards running from wings to the side seat rails

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

John Brown (1736–1803), Providence, Rhode Island; by inheritance to his daughter Sarah "Sally" Brown Herreshoff (1773–1846), Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent to her son Charles Frederick Herreshoff III (1809–1888) and his wife, Julia Ann Lewis (1811–1901), Bristol, Rhode Island; by descent to their daughter Caroline Louisa Herreshoff (1837–1924), Bristol, Rhode Island; by inheritance to her grandson Wescote Herreshoff Chesebrough (1908–1979), Providence, Rhode Island, 1924; consigned to Gustave J. S. White, Inc., Newport, Rhode Island, July 15, 1974; sold to John S. Walton, Inc., New York; sold to Ann and Philip Holzer, Great Neck, New York, 1974

Associated names

John Brown
Sarah "Sally" Brown Herreshoff
Charles Frederick Herreshoff III
Caroline Louisa Herreshoff III
Westcote Herreshoff Chesebrough
Gustave J. S. White, Inc.
John S. Walton, Inc.
Ann Holzer
Philip Holzer

Construction

The flat crest rail has quarter round shoulders and is secured by mortise and tenon joints, each with two wood pins, to the rear-raking stiles. A back brace is tenoned into the bottom of the stiles. The rear legs are chamfered and screwed (one screw per leg) to the stiles. They are attached with through-tenon, single-wood-pin joints to the side rails. The rear seat rail meets them in mortise and tenon joints, having one wood pin proper right, and two pins proper left. The serpentine wings consist of serpentine-top boards, screwed into rabbets in the top of the flat-topped stiles, and screwed into rabbets in the top of their serpentine supports. The bottom of the wing supports are secured by mortise and tenon through-joints to the side seat rails, each joint showing one wood pin. Between the rear stiles and wing supports are long, modern, rectangular braces, parallel with the rear stiles, and fixed with modern nails into the bottom of the wings above the top of a block between the wing supports and rear stiles below. Under the confluence of each side rail and rear leg is an incurvate bracket, glued and nailed to both leg and rail. The sloping, conical, horn-shaped arms are nailed with brads to the wing supports and to slightly sloping supports below, which sit in rabbets in the top of upright arm supports, fixed by mortise and tenon joints showing one wood pin, to the seat rail below. At the front of the conical arm is a circular face piece, held on with rosehead nails. Below, the top of a piece of blocking curves outward and downward to form a conical support for the C-scroll, notched to fit over the corner of the seat rail. The side and front seat rails are half-lapped to each other at the front legs, the joints reinforced with two screws apiece. Hexagonal dowels, continuous with the front legs, are screwed from the front into this joint. The shell-carved cabriole legs have scroll-carved knee brackets attached with screws and end in finely carved claws holding spherical ball feet. The frame retains what appears to be original muslin strips, linen upholstery backing, upholstery nails and leather washers. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, June 10, 2011; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

"Gustave J. S. White, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 105, no. 6 (June 1974): 1265, ill.
"John S. Walton, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 106, no. 5 (November 1974): 692.
Philip Holzer, Philip and Ann Holzer Collection (n.p.: privately printed, 1990), 62–65, no. 22, fig. 22.1–22.6.