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Photo: Courtesy The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Bayou Bend Collection, Gift of Miss Ima Hogg, B-60-31-1
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Side chairs, pair

Object number



Maker, formerly attributed to Job Townsend, Jr., 1726–1778
Maker Unknown


41 3/4 22 21 1/8 in. (106.045 55.88 53.658 cm)



Current location

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


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


Black walnut; soft maple (slip seats and rear seat rails and stretchers)




"V," incised, on front seat rail rabbet and "III," incised on slip seat frame of B.60.31.1


Katrina Kipper, Boston, 1936; Herbert Lawton (born 1868), Boston; consigned to American Art Association Anderson Galleries, Inc., New York, April 2–3, 1937, lot 392. Israel Sack, Inc., New York, 1958; sold to Ima Hogg (1882–1975), Houston; given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Associated names

Herbert Lawton
American Art Association
Anderson Galleries
Israel Sack, Inc.
Katrina Kipper Queen Anne Cottage Antiques
Ima Hogg


Each chair has a flat-fronted, chamfered-back crest rail with an incurvate middle portion, tenoned and wood-pinned to flat-fronted, serpentine, chamfered-back stiles. The one-piece, serpentine, vasiform, chamfered-back splat is tenoned into the bottom of the crest rail and into the top of the molded, one-piece shoe, which is nailed to the rear seat rail below, which it slightly overhangs. The rear rail is tenoned, without wood pins, to the stiles, which are chamfered at all four corners below the rails, and rake rearward below the stretchers. The serpentine, rabbeted, and thumbmolded side and front rails have scalloped skirts and are tenoned and wood-pinned to their respective legs. The side and front rails? tenons are full-height. The turned rear stretcher is doweled into the rear legs. The flat, square-edged serpentine side and medial stretchers are tenoned and wood-pinned to their neighboring members. The cabriole front legs have beaded lambrequin-carved knees, beaded scrolls ending in carved volutes, shod pad feet, and beaded knee brackets applied with glue and nails. Examined by P.E. Kane, August 8, 2013; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.


Anderson Galleries and American Art Association, New York, Rare and Valuable American Furniture, Paintings, and Silver: From the Collection of Herbert Lawton, Boston, Mass., sale cat. (April 2–3, 1937), 161, lot 392, ill.
Homer Eaton Keyes, "Two Branches of the Newport Townsends," Antiques 31, no. 6 (June 1937): 310, fig. 8.
"Dramatic Interlude at the Lawton Sale," Antiques 31, no. 3 (March 1937): 141–142.
David B. Warren et al., American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1998), 22–23, no. F38.
David B. Warren, Bayou Bend: American Furniture, Paintings, and Silver from the Bayou Bend Collection (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1975), 23, no. 38.
"Chairs by Job Townsend," Antiques 30, no. 3 (September 1936): 126–127.
American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, 10 vols. (Washington, D.C.: Highland House Publishers, 1957–89), vol. 1, p. 40, no. 123, ill.