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Photo: Courtesy private collection; photo by Anthony De Camillo
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Side chairs, set of eight


Object number

RIF866

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

38 × 21 × 17 in. (96.52 × 53.34 × 43.18 cm) Height, seat: 17 1/2 in. (44.45 cm)

Date

1791

Current location

Private collection

Geography

Possibly made in Providence, Rhode Island, or possibly made in New York, or possibly made in
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Mahogany and mahogany veneer (primary); maple (seat rails and corner braces); birch (seat rails and corner braces); yellow poplar (corner braces)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

On one chair: “Given to Elizabeth Brown by Gov. Brown on her marriage to Benjamin Robison in 1791. Roland Rodman Robinson,” in graphite, on inside seat rail; “1791,” inscribed on inside of seat rail; on another chair: “Elizabeth Brown [?] daughter / [?] 1791 [?] Robinson,” in graphite, on inside of front seat rail

Style

Hepplewhite, Federal

Provenance

Governor George Brown (1746–1836), South Kingstown, Rhode Island; given to his daughter Mrs. Benjamin Robinson (née Elizabeth Brown, 1769–1855), South Kingston, Rhode Island, on her marriage, 1791; by descent to their great grandson Roland Rodman Robinson (1862–1934), South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Connecticut, 2004; sold to a private collection, 2004

Associated names

Lieutenant Governor George Brown
Nathan Liverant and Son
James Birle

Construction

Each serpentine crest rail has a flat front with beaded edges and a rounded back. Tenoned into its underside is a single-piece openwork splat which sits in a molded shoe below. The flat-fronted, beaded-edged, rounded-backed leg/stiles are tenoned and wood-pinned to the ends of the crest rail (the pins are visible on both sides of the joint), and square and rearward-raking below the seat, where they chamfered on their inside corner. The rear back legs flare rearward at the bottom and the bottoms of their feet are slightly chamfered. Diagonal braces set into grooves in the top of contiguous seat rails occupy the front corners of the seat frames. The seat rails are tenoned and wood-pinned to each other. The veneered rear seat rail is tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear legs. The rear stretcher is tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear legs; the pins are visible on both faces of the legs. The side stretchers are also offset-tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear legs, with the pins visible on both faces of the legs. The medial stretcher is half-dovetailed to the side stretchers. The front legs are plain, square, and tapering. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, May 24, 2013; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Bibliography

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), 86, 93n49, 418–21, no. 98.