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Side chairs, pair


Object number

RIF1231

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

105.09 x 54.93 x 53.34 cm (41 3/8 x 21 5/8 x 21 in.)

Date

1740–1760

Current location

Private collection

Geography

Probably made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Walnut (primary); maple (slip seat frames)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"V," incised, inside top of front seat rail, one chair; "VIII," incised, inside top of front seat rail, other chair

Provenance

Gov. Gideon Wanton (1693–1767), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent in the family; Robert A. Blekicki, New England Gallery, Inc., Andover, Massachusetts, 1987

Associated names

Governor Gideon Wanton
Robert A. Blekicki

Construction

Each chair has a yoke-shaped crest rail, ending in a vertical mortise and tenon joint, exhibiting one pin in the end of each quarter round "shoulder" of the stile. The outside face of each stile also contains a wood pin. The rear face of the crest and stiles has chamfered corners; the front face is flat. The solid vasiform splat fits into grooves in the underside of the crest rail above and the molded shoe below, which is attached to the rear seat rail with wood pins, one each in its incurvate sides, and slightly overhangs the slip seat below. The stiles are continuous with the rear legs, and join the rear and side seat rails in mortise and tenon joints with one wood pin each. The rear legs are chamfered on all four corners between the seat rails and stretchers, and a turned rear stretcher is doweled into them. The scalloped, flat rectangular-sectioned side stretchers are tenoned into the front faces of the rear leg. The tenons? extra depth is visible below the stretchers. The mortise and tenon joint between the medial and side stretchers is reinforced by two brads, visible on the underside of the side stretcher. The front and side seat rails, rabbeted within to receive the slip seat frame, join the front legs in mortise and tenon joints with one pin each. The front cabriole legs have knee brackets, attached with wood pins, with beaded edges continuous with carved scrolls on the legs below. The legs are joined and pinned (on their outside faces) to the side stretchers below, and terminate in shod pad feet. Inspected by P. E. Kane and W. S. Braznell, August 22, 2012; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Bibliography

"Robert A. Blekicki advertisement," Antiques 131, no. 1 (January 1987): 45, ill.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 257n6.