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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive, Preservation Society of Newport County, PSNC.9696.1
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Side chairs, pair


Object number

RIF5748

Maker

Maker Unknown

Date

1755–80

Current location

Preservation Society of Newport County

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); maple (corner blocks)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"X," incised, inside rear seat rail and interior front corner blocks of .1; "IIII," incised, on front seat rail of .1; "I," incised on front seat rail of .2

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, 2011

Construction

Each chair has a slightly incurvate, flat-fronted serpentine crest with pointed "ears," and chamfered edges at the back. Tenoned into the bottom of the crest and the top of the molded shoe, which is nailed with brads to the rear seat rail, is a flat, openwork vasiform, single-piece splats with chamfered back edges. The shoe slightly overhangs the seat rail. Tenoned and wood-pinned to the ends of the crest rail are flat-fronted, chamfered-back stiles, continuous with the rear legs, and chamfered between the seat rails and the stretchers, below which they are square and rake rearward. The rear seat rail is tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear stiles. The rabbeted, serpentine, flat-arch-skirted side rails are tenoned and wood pinned to the front and rear legs, and the front rail is tenoned and wood-pinned to the front legs. One chair has modern blocks screwed into the corners of the seat frame; the other does not. The blocked and turned side stretchers are tenoned and wood-pinned to the front and rear legs. The turned rear and medial stretchers are doweled into the rear legs and side stretchers, respectively. The knee brackets are secured with glue and (mostly later) nails, and the front legs, with rounded knees and ankles, end in shod pad feet. Examined by J.N. Johnson, November 8, 2011; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd

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), 253n3.