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Photo: Courtesy Ralph Carpenter Papers, Joseph Downs Manuscript Library, Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Del.
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Roundabout chair


Object number

RIF320

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

Height: 30 3/4 in. (78.11 cm) Width, arms: 26 1/4 in. (66.68 cm)

Date

1750–60

Current location

Diplomatic Reception Rooms, Department of State

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); pine (original corner block); yellow poplar (diagonal brace); maple (seat frame)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

William Wiltshire III (born 1941), Richmond, Virginia; given to the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, Department of State, Washington, D.C., 1972

Associated names

William Wiltshire III

Construction

The shaped, segmented crest rail is fixed to the arms below with screws and rosehead nails. The two segmented portions of the oft-repaired continuous arm piece are half-lapped together over the rear leg/stile and doweled into its underside. It ends in slightly stepped-down laminated scroll-carved hand-holds. The tops of the flanking leg/stiles are doweled and wood-pinned to the armpiece. Each consists of a ring-turned vasiform upright, a rectangular block and a cabriole leg; the flat-arch-skirted rear seat rails are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to them. Tenoned into the underside of the arms are (replaced) openwork splats, each also tenoned into the top of a molded shoe fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the tops of the rear seat rails. The bottom of each shoe overhangs the seat frame. The connections between the serpentine front seat rails and the curved block atop the front leg have been repaired. The front face of the block shows several nail heads and later wood pins. A diagonal bracket is fixed with rosehead nails to the rear seat rails in the back corner of the seat frame. The rails of the slip seat are tenoned and wood-pinned to each other. The three rear cabriole legs have angular knees, rounded ankles, and full-disc shod pad feet. The front cabriole leg has a rounded knee, deeply carved ankle and claws grasping an elongated ball foot. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, August 21, 2014; 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), 337nn5, 7.