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Photo: Courtesy Hunter House, The Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, Rhode Island; photo by Tracey Kroll
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Roundabout chair


Object number

RIF4788

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

30 1/2 x 26 x 26 in. (77.47 x 66.04 x 66.04 cm)

Date

1760–1770

Current location

Preservation Society of Newport County

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); maple (cross brace)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"i," incised, top of proper right seat rail; "III," incised, underside of proper left lower crest rail; "IIII," incised, underside of proper right lower crest rail

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Elisha Dyer (1772–1845), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, Governor Elisha Dyer (1811–1890), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his son Governor Elisha Dyer (1839–1906), Providence, Rhode Island ; by descent to his son, George Rathbone Dyer (1869–1934), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his son and his son's wife, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gurnee Dyer, 'Farmlands,' Portsmouth, Rhode Island; by descent to their daughter, Mrs. Stanley F. Reed, 'Bonniecrest,' Newport, Rhode Island; given to the Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, 2000

Associated names

Elisha Dyer
Elisha Dyer
Elisha Dyer, Jr.
George Rathbone Dyer
Mr. W. Gurnee Dyer
Mrs. W. Gurnee Dyer
Mrs. Stanley F. Reed

Construction

The crest rail is in three parts – the lower portion consists of two quarter round flat elements, stepped down slightly at the ends. The bottom portions of the outward-facing, scrolling ends are glued on; the proper right one missing. The two parts of the lower rail meet in a half-lap joint over the top of the central rear leg/stile, which is doweled into the joint. The flanking leg/stiles are tenoned into the underside of the lower rail, and wood-pinned from behind. The upper portion of the crest is a segmental element, quarter round in profile in front, slightly incurvate in back, with scrolling ends. It is fixed with rosehead nails through the underside of the rails below. Two straight, openwork splats are tenoned into the bottom of the lower rail and the top of the molded shoes, which slightly overhang the seat frame. The shoes are fixed with brads to the rear seat rails. The undersides of the lower rails hear prominent scribe lines for the layout of nails and splats. The turned stiles below are continuous with the oft-repaired, square-sectioned cabriole legs, which have angular knees and shod pad feet. The rear seat rails have flat-arched skirts and are tenoned into the flanking leg/stiles with two wood pins apiece. They are tenoned into the rear leg with one pin. The rabbeted serpentine front rails are tenoned into the flanking leg/stiles with two wood pins apiece and into the front leg with no pins. There is a diagonal brace, secured to the back of the frame with rosehead nails, and a later triangular brace secured to the front with screw pockets. The flanking inside corners of the seat frame bear shadows of vertical glue blocks. The front cabriole leg has a broad, rounded knee, crisply carved ankles and claws grasping an elongated ball foot. Examined by J.N. Johnson, November 18, 2011; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "A Reviviscent Newport Colonial: The Nichols-Wanton-Hunter House," http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=878 (accessed May 18, 2010), fig. 9.
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), 336, no. 68, fig. 2.