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Side chairs, pair

Object number



Maker, formerly attributed to Job Townsend, Sr., 1699–1765
Maker, attributed to John Goddard, American, 1723–1785


38 1/2 21 3/4 20 3/4 in. (97.79 55.25 52.71 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (corner blocks); maple (slip seat frame)




"II," incised on rabbet of front seat rail of one chair; "IX," incised on slip seat of chair marked "II"; "I," incised on rear surfaces of crest rail, splat, shoe, and rear seat rail of chair marked II; "III," incised on rabbet of front seat rail and slip seat frame of other chair; "X," incised on rear surfaces of crest rail, splat, shoe, and rear seat rail of chair marked "III"


John Still Winthrop (1720–1776), New London, Connecticut; by descent to his son, Benjamin Winthrop (1762–1844), New London, Connecticut, and New York; by descent to his daughter, Margaret Cornelia Winthrop Folsom (1801–1863), New York; by descent to her son, George Winthrop Folsom (1846–1915), New York, and Washington, D.C.; by descent in the family; consigned to Christie's, New York, October 5, 2000, lot 95

Associated names

John Still Winthrop
Benjamin Winthrop
Margaret Cornelia Winthrop Folsom
George Winthrop Folsom


Each chair has a flat-fronted, round-backed, double-arched crest rail centering a carved shell. Tenoned and wood-pinned into it are flat-fronted, round-backed serpentine stiles continuous with square, rearward-raking back legs. A single-board, straight, openwork, vasiform splat is tenoned into the bottom of the crest rail and the top of the molded shoe. The molded, rabbeted side seat rails have flat-arched skirts and are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to the rear stiles, and tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the front legs. The front seat rail is tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the front legs, which have angular, stylized-acanthus-carved knees, rounded ankles with prominent tendons, and vigorously carved claws and talons grasping elongated ball feet. The rear and medial stretchers are doweled into their adjoining stretchers. The blocked and turned side stretchers are tenoned and wood pinned into the rear legs and doweled into the front legs. Some later blocks are screwed into the corners of the seat frames. Examined by P.E. Kane; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd

Related objects

See also


Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (October 5, 2000), 76–81, lots 95 and 96, ill.
"Christie's advertisement," Antiques 158, no. 3 (September 2000): 263.
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), 58n23.