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Photo: Courtesy Historic New England, 2012.41.1
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Side chair


Object number

RIF4447

Maker

Maker, attributed to Ambrose Taylor, 1744?1831

Dimensions

40 1/8 20 16 1/2 in. (101.92 50.8 41.91 cm)

Date

1775–95

Current location

Historic New England (www.historicnewengland.com), formerly Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities

Geography

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

Medium

Maple (splat, stiles, seat rails, legs, and stretchers); birch (crest and lower back rail)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Style

vernacular style

Provenance

By descent in the family of the chairmaker Ambrose Taylor (1744–1831), Warwick, Rhode Island, to Cherry Fletcher Bamberg, Marlboro, Massachusetts; gift to Historic New England, Boston, 2012

Associated names

Cherry Fletcher Bamberg

Construction

The double-serpentine crest rail has flat front and back faces. The front and back top edges are slightly rounded, the bottom edges are chamfered, and the front faces of the flaring ears are fluted. Tenoned into the crest rail?s underside is a single-piece openwork splat, tenoned below into a rectilinear beaded stay rail offset-tenoned into the leg/stiles. The back edges of the splat are chamfered. The leg/stiles are flat in front and chamfered in back to just above the stay rail, below which they are square, and chamfered on their front faces below the lower side stretchers. The rear and side seat rails, covered by rush, are most likely doweled into the rear legs and tenoned to the front seat rail. The front legs are doweled and wood-pinned to the front seat rail. The turned rear and double side stretchers are doweled into their respective legs. Some of these joints are repaired, including the proper left end of the rear stretcher. The ring- and ball-turned front stretcher is doweled into the front legs, which are reel-turned above and square, with beaded outside corners, below. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, June 13, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Notes

The chair retains traces of an old reddish-brown paint that may be original.

Bibliography

Cherry Fletcher Bamberg, "A Line of Descent from Ambrose Taylor, Chairmaker of Apponaug," Rhode Island Roots 39, no. 3 (September 2013): 113, 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), 80, 364n7, 365–366, no. 77.