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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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Side chair


Object number

RIF4797

Maker

Maker Unknown
Maker: formerly attributed to Joseph Davenport

Dimensions

92.71 x 55.25 x 51.44 cm (36 1/2 x 21 3/4 x 20 1/4 in.)

Date

1750–1770

Current location

Preservation Society of Newport County

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); maple (slip seat frame)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"This chair probably came down in the Robinson House," written on paper label nailed to interior of rear seat rail; "III," incised on rabbet of front seat rail and on underside of slip seat; illegible chalk, on underside of slip seat; "I," incised on back of crest and rear seat rail

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Thomas Robinson (1730–1817), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his wife, Sarah Richardson Robinson (1733-1817), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to her daughter Mary Morton (1757–1829), Philadelphia; by descent to her daughter Esther Smith (1797-1865), Philadelphia; by descent to her son Benjamin Raper Smith (1825-1904), Philadelphia and Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his wife Esther Fisher Smith (née Wharton, 1836–1915), Philadelphia and Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to her son Edward Wanton Smith (1875–1940), Philadelphia and Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his son Edward Wanton Smith, Jr. (1920–2001), Jamestown, Rhode Island; by descent to Josh Wanton Smith, Newport, Rhode Island; consigned to Christie’s, New York, January 20–21, 2005, lot 547 (unsold); given to Preservation Society of Newport County

Associated names

Thomas Robinson
Sarah Richardson Robinson
Mary Robinson Morton
Esther Smith
Benjamin Raper Smith
Esther Fischer Wharton Smith
Edward Wanton Smith
Edward Wanton Smith, Jr.
Josh Wanton Smith
Christie's

Construction

The flat-fronted, incurvate crest rail has arched shoulders, is rounded at the back, and is attached to the straight, flat-fronted, rounded back stiles with mortise and tenon joints. The flat, pierced vasiform splat is tenoned into the bottom of the crest rail and the top of the one-piece shoe, which is nailed with brads into the rear seat rail, and slightly overhangs the seat. The stiles are rounded at the upper back and square from the shoe to the rear-raking back feet, a portion of the proper left of which is missing. The rabbeted serpentine seat rails and turned side stretchers meet the stiles in mortise and tenon joints, showing two wood pins and one wood pin respectively. The stretcher is doweled and pinned to the rear legs; the medial stretcher is doweled into the side stretchers. The seat rails have flat-arched skirts and meet the front legs with mortise and tenon joints, each having one wood pin. The wood pins in the upper portion of the front legs are slightly higher on the proper left than on the proper right. The inside corners of the front, cabriole legs are angular. The joints between side stretchers and front legs are through-pinned. The legs have rounded knees and shod pad feet. Examined by P.E. Kane, January 21, 2005; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd

See also


Bibliography

Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, and Prints, sale cat. (January 20–21, 2005), lot 547, ill.
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. 10.
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), 262–264, no. 47, ill.