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Photo: Courtesy private collection; photo by Christopher Gardner
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Side chairs, pair

Object number



Maker, attributed to John Goddard, American, 1723–1785


Height: 38 1/2 in. (97.79 cm) Height, seat: 17 in. (43.18 cm) Width, feet: 21 1/2 in. (54.61 cm) Depth, feet: 20 1/2 in. (52.07 cm) Depth, seat: 17 in. (43.18 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); maple (slip seat frame)




“II,” incised on rabbet of front seat rail, on underside of front rail of slip seat, and on rear surface of crest rail, rear rail, shoe, splat, and medial stretcher of one chair; “VI” incised on rabbet of front seat rail ("IIIIII" also incised here), rear of crest, splat, rear rail, shoe, medial stretcher of other chair; “III,” underside of front rail of slip seat of chair marked “VI”


Nicholas Brown (1729–1791), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his daughter, Mrs. Thomas Poynton Ives (née Hope Brown, 1773–1855), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to her son, Moses Brown Ives (1794–1857), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his daughter, Mrs. Henry Grinnell Russell (née Hope Brown Ives, 1839–1909), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to her cousin, Robert Hale Ives Goddard (1837–1916), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his wife, Mrs. R. H. Ives Goddard (née Rebecca Burnette Groesbeck, 1840–1914), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent in her family, until 2005; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 22, 2005, lot 827; sold to Leigh Keno American Antiques, New York; sold to private collection

Associated names

Nicholas Brown
Hope Brown Ives
Moses Brown Ives
Hope Brown Ives
Robert Hale Ives Goddard
Goddard Family
Leigh Keno American Antiques
Mrs. Robert Hale Ives Goddard


Each chair?s crest rail has arched shoulders flanking a shell- and volute-carved arched center, and is molded in front and rounded in back. The back edge of the half round portion of the aperture below the carved shell is chamfered. Tenoned and wood-pinned to the ends of the crest rail are single-piece serpentine leg/stiles molded in front to just above the seat frame, rounded in back to the bottom of their serpentine portion, and square and inward-raking (with slightly chamfered inside faces below the side stretchers) to the bottom. The single piece openwork vasiform splat includes molded volutes continuous with the crest rail and terminating in now empty roundels. The splat is tenoned into the bottom of the crest and the top of the molded shoe which overhangs the rear seat rail to which it is fixed by wood-filled fasteners. The back edges of the splat are not chamfered. The rear seat rail is tenoned and wood-pinned to the leg/stiles. The flat-arch-skirted side seat rails have serpentine outside faces and straight, rabbeted inside faces and are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to the leg/stiles and tenoned and single-room-pinned to the front legs. The front seat rail is similarly configured and tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the front legs. The double-serpentine rear stretcher is flush with the back faces of the rear legs to which it is tenoned and single-wood-pinned, with pins visible on the outside only. The front face of the stretcher is slightly rounded. The double-serpentine medial stretcher is tenoned and double-wood-pinned to the double-serpentine side stretchers. The pins are visible on both faces of the side stretchers, which are tenoned and wood-pinned to the front legs and the leg/stiles. The pins at both sets of joints are visible on the outside of the respective legs. The side and medial stretchers are rounded on their front and back faces. The front cabriole legs have rounded knees, deeply carved tendons and claws with smooth knuckles grasping spherical ball feet. Knee brackets are held on with glue and an assortment of nails and wood-filled fasteners. The front and rear rails of the slip seat frame are tenoned and wood-pinned to two-part side rails, each consisting of serpentine outer rails tenoned and wood-pinned to straight-sided inner rails. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, November 18, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Barbara Snow, "Living with Antiques: The Providence Home of Mrs. R.H. Ives Goddard," Antiques 87, no. 5 (May 1965): 581, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Property of the Goddard Family, sale cat. (January 22, 2005), 66–77, lot 827, ill.
Christie's New York, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, and Chinese Export, sale cat. (January 19–20 and 23, 2012), 103.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana including Property Approved for Deaccession by the Board of Trustees of Historic Deerfield, Inc., sale cat. (January 19–21, 2007), 391.
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), 82, 253, 264, 337n6, 340, 342–344, 357, no. 70, fig. 1.