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Photo: Courtesy Newport Restoration Foundation 2002.21; photo by Christopher Gardner
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Side chair


Object number

RIF4402

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

38 1/4 x 22 x 17 1/2 in. (97.16 x 55.88 x 44.45 cm)

Date

1740–60

Current location

Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"[illegible text] / Spencer A[?] / East Greenwich / Rho[de Island]," printed on a partial label, glued to the underside of the rear seat rail

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Cornelius C. Moore (1885–1970), Newport, Rhode Island; consigned by his estate to Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, October 30, 1971, lot 110; Parke-Bertnet Galleries, Inc., New York, May 19–20, 1972, lot 419; sold to Doris Duke (1912–1993) for Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island, 1972; Whitehorne House Museum, Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island, from 1974

Associated names

Cornelius C. Moore
Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc.

Construction

The upper-case roof consists of multiple thin boards bent to align with the scroll board and crown molding in front and the upper backboard behind and nailed with brads to the tops of them, to blocking within the pediment, and to the tops of the single-board case sides, with brads. The upper backboard is also nailed to blocking within the pediment. The vertical walls of a rectilinear cutout in the back of the pediment are set into grooves in the scroll board and nailed with brads to the upper backboard. The cutout?s floor is also set into grooves in the back of the scroll board and held in place by the walls above and by nails in the backboard. There is a block shaped to align with the pediment?s cutouts behind the central pedestal, fixed to it with brads. The two-part crown molding is toe-nailed from behind at its rear corners and from above at its front corners to the case sides, to which it is also fixed with glue and wood-filled fasteners. The scroll board is half-blind dovetailed to the case sides; its thumb-molded plaques are attached to it from within. The central (possibly replaced) urn-form finial sits upon a thin rectangular cap held on with sprigs. Carved stylized rosettes which terminate the crown moldings are fixed to the front of the pediment with dome-headed screws through its back. The upper-case back consists of three horizontal half-lapped boards nailed to rabbets in the upper-case ceiling, sides and bottom with rosehead nails. The scribe-lined upper-case ceiling meets its case sides in blind dovetail joints. Within the case a longitudinal support for the upper small drawers is set into grooves in the case sides. A vertical batten at the midpoint of the case back is tenoned into the support and is nailed to the backboard from within. A lateral support is half-lapped to both the support in back and to the drawer divider in front. It is also nailed from below to the drawer support. Atop the lateral drawer support is a low drawer guide aligned with the upright between the two small drawers, half-lapped and set into a groove in the scroll board, which joint is accompanied by horizontal chamfered glue blocks behind the top rail/scroll board. There are shadows of a tip bar at the proper left side of the case interior; a proper right bar remains. The drawer dividers, backed by supports fixed with rosehead and later nails, are half-blind dovetailed to the case sides. The upper-case bottom rail is set into grooves in the case sides; behind it are three longitudinal chamfered glue blocks and drawer supports. The two-board upper-case bottom is half-blind dovetailed to the case sides, with finely cut pins of slightly varying configuration and half-pins in front and in back. A narrow block at the center of the case bottom near its front edge is fixed to it with rosehead nails and fits into a slot in the lower-case top. Three nails at the front edge of the upper-case bottom attach it to the bottom rail above. The single-piece waist molding is rabbeted to fit over the lower case and is fixed to the case sides and bottom rail with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The graduated, thumb-molded, lipped, kerf-marked drawer fronts meet their slightly shorter, arched-top, full-height sides in dovetail joints having finely cut, narrow-necked pins of slightly varying configuration with half-pins above and below. The two-board drawer bottoms, parallel to the fronts, are chamfered at the front and sides (where they fit into grooves), are fitted with later runners, and fixed to the flat-topped backs with rosehead nails. The smaller upper drawers have touch latches fixed to their single-board bottoms with rosehead nails and later brads. The two-board lower-case top meets its single-board sides in dovetail joints having finely cut pins of varying configuration, with half-pins in front and half-pins with rabbets in back. The two half-lapped boards of the lower case are fixed with rosehead nails into rabbets in the case top, sides and bottom. A vertical batten inside the case is nailed from within and without to the case back. The lower-case top rail is half-blind dovetailed to the case sides and fixed in the front with three rosehead nails to the bottom rail. The feet consist of vertical blocks attached directly to the case bottom, flanked by shaped horizontal blocks and faced with ogee bracket feet. The rear feet are configured similarly except for straight-profiled ogee back brackets which fit into vertical grooves in the side-facing ogee brackets and are accompanied by horizontal chamfered glue blocks. The back-facing edge of the rear feet?s side brackets have an ogee profile. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, December 11, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd. Photographs: 10ad, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 110, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35 RIF4402 Side chair The yoke-shaped crest rail has an incurvate central portion and is flat in front and rounded in back. Tenoned into its underside is a straight, single-piece, vasiform splat tenoned into the top of a molded shoe which is fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the rear seat rail (which it slightly overhangs) below. Tenoned to the ends of the crest rail are leg/stiles which are flat in front, chamfered in back, and serpentine to a point above the seat frame. The curving inner portion of each stile is a separate laminated piece. The leg/stiles are square at the seat frame, below which they are chamfered to the rear stretcher, then square, rearward raking and slightly chamfered on their inside faces below the side stretchers. The rear seat rail is tenoned and wood-pinned to the leg/stiles. The proper right wood pin is noticeably larger than the proper left one. The tops of the flat-arch-skirted side seat rails are molded, their outer faces are serpentine, their inner faces rabbeted and straight, and they are tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the leg/stiles and the front legs. The front seat rail is similarly constructed and joined to the front legs. The rear and medial stretchers, both doweled into their neighboring members, have double ring turnings at the head of their slightly conical ends. The side stretchers include a prominent ring turning a certain distance away from the rear blocked portions, and are tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear legs, with pins visible on the outside faces only. Their front tenons are oversized, meeting the front legs at their flattened ?calves? and visible pins on both sides of the legs. Each front leg is accompanied by a knee bracket, applied with glue and nails, and carved with a serpentine beaded edge. This carving continues onto the inside faces of the legs (where it is integral with the leg) forming an elongated C-scroll. The cabriole legs have rounded knees and full-disc lightly shod pad feet. Each corner of the seat frame has a later serpentine block. Examined by J. N. Johnson, August 21, 2015; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, Important American Furniture: Property from the Estate of the Late Cornelius C. Moore, sale cat. (October 30, 1971), 33, lot 110, ill.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, Important American Furniture, sale cat. (May 19–20, 1972), lot 419.
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, no. 45, fig. 1.