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Photo: Courtesy Christie's, New York
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Side chair

Object number



Maker John Carlile and Sons, active 1789–1803


99.06 x 53.98 x 50.17 cm (39 x 21 1/4 x 19 3/4 in.)



Current location

Private collection


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


Mahogany (primary); birch (seat rails); maple (cross braces); pine (glue blocks)


"Made and Sold, by / JOHN CARLILE & Sons. / All Kinds of Cabinet Work done, in the best Manner, and at the shortest / Notice, at their Shop, just Southward of the / Market, in Providence, State of Rhode- / Island, &c," printed, on paper label glued to interior of rear seat rail


“[Two lines of crossed out text] / PROVIDENCE, R.I.,” stamped in black ink on proper-right rear cross brace




Joseph K. Ott (1929–1994), Providence, Rhode Island, by 1978; by descent to his wife wife Anne Northrup Ott (1929–2015), Providence, Rhode Island; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 20, 2012, lot 157

Associated names

Joseph K. Ott
Anne Northrop Ott


A number of chairs with shield backs and urns with swags survive from Rhode Island and many have been attributed to John Carlile and Sons or John Carlile, Jr., on the basis of five labeled examples by the firm (RIF35, 297, 2554 [pair], 4932). The carving and construction of the chairs varies suggesting that they were made by more than one shop. On the chairs with the label of John Carlile and Sons, the leafage does not overlap the top of the urn and the swag at the top of the urn does not have the illusion of being looped through the ring. A number of unlabelled examples have these distinctive carving details and may have been made by the firm.

See also


Wendy A. Cooper, In Praise of America: American Decorative Arts, 1650–1830, Fifty Years of Discovery since the 1929 Girl Scouts Loan Exhibition (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), 28–29, fig. 29, 30.
Joseph K. Ott, "Lesser-Known Rhode Island Cabinetmakers: The Carliles, Holmes Weaver, Judson Blake, the Rawsons, and Thomas Davenport," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1156–57, pl. 1, fig. 1.
Christie's, New York, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph K. Ott, sale cat. (January 20, 2012), 70–71, lot 157, ill.
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), 430–32, no. 102, fig. 1.