image of object
From: David H. Conradsen, Useful Beauty: Early American Decorative Arts from St. Louis Collections (US: St. Louis Art Museum, 1999), 42
Click the image to enlarge

Easy chair


Object number

RIF1651

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

46 1/2 x 34 x 24 1/2 in. (118.11 x 86.36 x 62.23 cm)

Date

1760–85

Current location

Private collection

Geography

Made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Mahogany (primary); cherry, yellow pine, yellow poplar (secondary)

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

"Campbell Hall," Orange County, New York, by the 1960s; Robert Oeder, Orange County, New York; consigned by his estate to William J. Jenack Auctions, Chester, New York, June 30, 1996; sold to Alan Miller, Quakertown, Pennsylvania; sold to George and Lesley Schoedinger, St. Louis, Missouri; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 18, 2008, lot 508

Construction

The crest rail has an arched top edge and a flat bottom edge and is tenoned and double-wood pinned to the rectangular rear stiles, which meet the rearward raking back legs – elliptical in plan – in scarf joints reinforced with screws. The stay rail is tenoned into the rear stiles, and the rear seat rail is tenoned and wood pinned to the back legs. The upper pieces of the wings have serpentine top edges and sloping bottom edges and are tenoned and wood-pinned to the tops of the stiles. The wings? upright elements are tenoned and wood-pinned to the side seat rails. Armrest supports are tenoned and wood-pinned to the side seat rails below and to short horizontal rails above. These rails are also tenoned and wood-pinned to the wings? vertical boards. To the outside of these horizontal rails and armrest supports single-piece partially conical boards are attached with rosehead nails. The front seat rail is bowed on its inside and outside faces. At either end of its outside face is the recessed head of a metal fastener joining it to the front end of each side rail. The front legs are notably stout and angular, with shell- and volute-carved knees and deeply carved ankles and claws grasping large ball feet. Rectangular blocks atop each front leg are doweled into the bottom of the front seat rail and are visible on its upper face. The front legs and the neighboring portions of the seat rails bear numerous shadows of former metal brackets and fasteners. The feet were formerly fitted with casters. Examined by P.E. Kane, January 14, 2008 and by J.N. Johnson, December 15, 2011; some photographs supplied by Christie?s; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Notes

Only five Rhode Island easy chairs with claw-and-ball feet and no stretchers have been recorded. For other examples see below.

See also


Bibliography

David H. Conradsen, Useful Beauty: Early American Decorative Arts from St. Louis Collections, exh. cat. (Saint Louis: Saint Louis Art Museum, 1999), 42–43, no. 15.
Christie's, New York, Property from the Collection of George and Lesley Schoedinger, sale cat. (January 18, 2008), 48–49, lot 508, ill.