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Photo: Courtesy Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, Del., 1956.0010.002
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Spindle-back armchair

Object number



Maker Unknown


43 1/8 24 5/8 18 in. (109.538 62.548 45.72 cm)



Current location

Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library


or made in Westerly, Rhode Island, or made in Newport, Rhode Island, or made in Kingstown, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Soft maple






Possibly Joseph Clarke (1618–1694), Newport, and Westerly, Rhode Island, or his son Joseph Clarke (1643–1727), Westerly; by descent to William Case Clarke, South Kingstown, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, Col. George Clinton Clarke (1804–1787), South Kingstown, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, William Case Clarke (1841–1902), Wakefield and South Kingstown, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, William Case Clarke (1878–1963), South Kingstown, Rhode Island and West Woodstock, Connecticut; sold to Harry Arons, Ansonia, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1955; sold to Winterthur Museum, Delaware, 1956

Associated names

Joseph Clarke
Joseph Clarke
William Case Clarke
Col. George Clinton Clarke
William Case Clarke
William Case Clarke
Case and Clarke family
Harry Arons


The turned leg/stiles have reel- and ball-turned tops, some slightly vasiform turnings as well as incised rings below, and are circular in plan from just above the lower back rail to the bottom. The leg/stiles are joined by three turned, ring-incised rails doweled and tenoned into them. The rails are joined to each other by two sets of three tapering ball-, ring- and vasiform-turned spindles doweled into them. The rails of the rush-covered seat are also doweled and wood-pinned to the rear leg/stiles as well as to the front legs, which are turned in a manner similar to the leg/stiles. The turned sloping arms are doweled and wood-pinned to the rear leg/stiles and the tops of the front legs. The simply turned rear and side stretchers are doweled into their respective legs, as is the ring- and vase-turned upper front stretcher. The lower front stretcher is doweled and wood-pinned to the front legs. The feet were formerly fitted with casters. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, May 7, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Benno M. Forman, American Seating Furniture,1630–1730: An Interpretive Catalogue (New York: W. W. Norton, 1988), 108–109, no. 8, ill.
Robert F. Trent, "New Insights on Early Rhode Island Furniture," American Furniture (1999): 215–217, fig. 11.
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), 143–144, no. 4.