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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive
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Side chairs, set of three


Object number

RIF4189

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

Height: 105.41 cm (41 1/2 in.); Height, seat: 45.09 cm (17 3/4 in.); Width: 52.07 cm (20 1/2 in.); Width, rear feet and rail: 38.1 cm (15 in.); Depth, feet: 54.61 cm (21 1/2 in.)

Date

1735–1755

Current location

Newport Historical Society

Geography

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

Medium

Walnut (primary); maple (slip seat)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“VIII,” inscribed, on the underside of the slip seat of one of the chairs (NHS W1960.1.1); “VI,” inscribed, on the top surface of the front seat rail of the same chair; “V,” inscribed, on the underside of the slip seat of a second chair; “IIII,” inscribed, on the top surface of the front seat rail of the same chair

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Thomas George Hazard, Jr. (1862–11946), Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island; by descent to Mrs. Thomas George Hazard, Jr. (née Nancy Lyman Pawle, 1897–1988), Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island; by descent to Peyton Randolph Hazard (died 1961), Newport, Rhode Island; bequeathed to the Newport Historical Society, 1962

Associated names

Thomas George Hazard Jr.
Mrs. Thomas George Hazard, Jr.
Peyton Randolph Hazard

Construction

Newport Historical Society, accession number W1960.1.2: The flat side stretchers are joined to the front legs and stiles with double-shouldered tenons and pinned in front and behind. The flat medial stretcher is tenoned into side stretchers. The rear stretcher is joined to the rear legs with round tenons. The front and side seat rails are tenoned into the tops of the front legs and secured with square pins. The side rails are joined to stiles with double-shouldered tenons and secured with a single square pin towards bottom of the rail. The underside of the proper right seat rail is roughly finished. The rear rail is joined to stiles with double-sided tenons, slightly offset to the outside and secured with square pins. The crest is tenoned into stiles and through pinned. The tenons of the crest are visible from its underside. The rear surfaces of the crest rail and stiles have chamfered edges. Chamfering of the stiles ceases just above the seat rail and then continues from just below the seat rail to just above the rear stretcher. The rear feat are angled backwards, but are not chamfered. The splat is slotted into the crest and into a molded shoe, which is affixed to the back seat rail with a single nail on either side. The outer surface of the splat is flush with the shoe and recessed where it meets the crest. The cabriole legs terminate in disk-shaped pad feet that sit upon smaller disks. The carved scrolls of the knees continue into the knee returns, which are secured with nails. The leather of the slip seat has been replaced, but the foundation upholstery – including sack cloth, webbing, and stuffing – appears to be original. The seat is supported with three strips of webbing, two running front to back and one running side to side, which are tacked to the top surface of the frame. The webbing is plain weave, and each strip is 1 ¾ inches wide. Although quite faded, the pattern appears to have been a central white stripe bordered in light brown, and two darker brown stripes on either side. Over the webbing is a coarse layer of sack cloth, also nailed to the top surface of the seat frame, which is woven from linen threads varying substantially in width. The seat is stuffed with grass, probably marsh grass, which can be seen through the open weave of the sack cloth.

See also


Bibliography

Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640–1820 (Newport, R.I.: Preservation Society of Newport County, 1954), 39, no. 13, ill.
Milo M. Naeve, "A New England Chair Design of 1730-1760 and Attributions to the Job Townsends of Newport," Newport History: Bulletin of the Newport Historical Society 72 (Spring 2003): 5, 13, 15, 17, charts 1–2, 4.
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), 254–257, no. 45, fig. 2.