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Photo: Courtesy The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Bayou Bend Collection, Gift of Miss Ima Hogg, B-60-31-1
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Side chairs, pair


Object number

RIF1465

Maker

Maker Unknown
Maker formerly attributed Job Townsend, Jr., 1726 - 1778

Dimensions

106.045 x 55.88 x 53.658 cm (41 3/4 x 22 x 21 1/8 in.)

Date

1735–1765

Current location

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Geography

Made in Rhode Island, or made in Massachusetts
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Black walnut; soft maple (slip seats and rear seat rails and stretchers)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"V," incised, on front seat rail rabbet and "III," incised on slip seat frame of B.60.31.1

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Katrina Kipper, Boston, 1936; Herbert Lawton (born 1868), Boston; consigned to American Art Association Anderson Galleries, Inc., New York, April 2–3, 1937, lot 392. Israel Sack, Inc., New York, 1958; sold to Ima Hogg (1882–1975), Houston; given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Associated names

Miss Katrina Kipper
Herbert Lawton
American Art Association
Anderson Galleries
Israel Sack, Inc.
Ima Hogg

Construction

Each chair has a flat-fronted, chamfered-back crest rail with an incurvate middle portion, tenoned and wood-pinned to flat-fronted, serpentine, chamfered-back stiles. The one-piece, serpentine, vasiform, chamfered-back splat is tenoned into the bottom of the crest rail and into the top of the molded, one-piece shoe, which is nailed to the rear seat rail below, which it slightly overhangs. The rear rail is tenoned, without wood pins, to the stiles, which are chamfered at all four corners below the rails, and rake rearward below the stretchers. The serpentine, rabbeted, and thumbmolded side and front rails have scalloped skirts and are tenoned and wood-pinned to their respective legs. The side and front rails? tenons are full-height. The turned rear stretcher is doweled into the rear legs. The flat, square-edged serpentine side and medial stretchers are tenoned and wood-pinned to their neighboring members. The cabriole front legs have beaded lambrequin-carved knees, beaded scrolls ending in carved volutes, shod pad feet, and beaded knee brackets applied with glue and nails. Examined by P.E. Kane, August 8, 2013; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

"Chairs by Job Townsend," Antiques 30, no. 3 (September 1936): 126–127.
"Dramatic Interlude at the Lawton Sale," Antiques 31, no. 3 (March 1937): 141–142.
American Art Association and Anderson Galleries, New York, Rare and Valuable American Furniture, Paintings, and Silver: From the Collection of Herbert Lawton, Boston, Mass., sale cat. (April 2–3, 1937), 161, lot 392, ill.
Homer Eaton Keyes, "Two Branches of the Newport Townsends," Antiques 31, no. 6 (June 1937): 310, fig. 8.
American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, 10 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Highland House Publishers, 1957–1989), vol. 1, p. 40, no. 123, ill.
David B. Warren, Bayou Bend: American Furniture, Paintings, and Silver from the Bayou Bend Collection (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1975), 23, no. 38.
David B. Warren et al., American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1998), 22–23, no. F38.