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Photo: Courtesy private collection; photo by Anthony De Camillo
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Leather chair

Object number



Maker Unknown


43 1/4 25 3/4 17 3/8 in. (109.86 65.41 44.13 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


Possibly made in Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Maple; leather upholstery






By descent to John Whitman Davis (1924–2016), Stonington, Connecticut; sold to Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Connecticut; sold to Frederick C. Copeland, Jr., Avon, Connecticut, 2006; sold to Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Connecticut; sold to a private collection, 2017

Associated names

John Whitman Davis
Nathan Liverant and Son
Frederick C. Copeland, Jr.


The crest rail has arched shoulders, and at each end of its horizontal bottom edge are half-round buttons from which spring moldings which decorate the shoulders and the flanking portions of its incurvate center. The rectangular splat consists of two uprights, serpentine in profile, which are shy of and tenoned into the flat portion of the crest rail and tenoned into the top of the stay rail below. A short transverse batten is tenoned into the tops of the uprights and the bottom of the crest rail. The splat and seat are covered in their original leather upholstery, held on by hemispherical brass tacks in the front faces of the uprights, the transverse batten and the middle portion of the stay rail, and the seat rails and legs below. The stiles are molded in front to a point just below the side seat rails. The slightly bowed face of the stiles is flattened at the points of juncture with the arms and side seat rails. The stiles, continuous with the rear legs, are flat in back from the top down. They are tenoned and wood-pinned to the ends of the crest rail (the pins are visible on both faces of the crest), the stay rail is tenoned into them without wood pins, and the rear seat?s rail is tenoned and wood-pinned to them (the pins are visible on the inside of the inside face of the leg/stiles), as is the rectangular rear stretcher (the pins are visible on both faces of the leg/stiles). The inside faces of the rear legs are slightly chamfered below the side stretchers. The seat rails and rectangular stretchers each meet their respective vertical elements in offset tenon joints. The side stretchers are tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear legs and the blocked portions of the front legs, and the pins at each joint are visible on both faces of the legs. The front rails are also tenoned and wood-pinned to the blocks atop the front legs, which are doweled and wood-pinned into the underside of the scrolling arms, also tenoned and wood-pinned to the stiles. At each end of the arms, the wood pins are visible on both sides of the joint. The front stretcher is doweled into blocks in the front legs. The outside faces of the carved front feet are missing. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, September 15, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


The chair retains its original leather upholstery.


"Nathan Liverant and Son advertisement," Antiques 169, no. 5 (May 2006): 23, 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), 68, 94n75, 246–249, no. 42.