Important Chippendale Carved and Figured Mahogany Pole Screen, carving attributed to Martin Jugiez, Philadelphia, circa 1770
Christie's, New York, The Collection of May and Howard Joynt, Alexandria, Virginia, January 20, 1990, sale 7012, lot 490.
George Parker, “Early American Furniture in Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Academy Review, 43: 2 (Spring 1997), 13.
The accomplished carving is attributed to Martin Jugiez, the highly skilled immigrant craftsman who was working in Philadelphia by 1762 when his partnership with Nicholas Bernard was first advertised. They worked together for several decades, with Bernard running their business operations while Jugiez held the carving responsibilities. This pole screen displays hallmarks of Jugiez’s carving repertoire, including the well-defined acanthus-leaves and free flowing tendrils articulated with long, deep veining and paired gouge cuts.1 This carving corresponds to documented architectural work by Bernard and Jugiez at Mount Pleasant in 1764.2 A pair of side chairs offered as lot 2148 in this sale with carving attributed to Jugiez displays similarly executed carved motifs.
This pole screen is one of six nearly identical examples with the same carving vocabulary and hairy paw feet that survive. Four of these were made as part of the acclaimed suite of furniture for General John Cadwalader (1742-1786) between 1769 and 1771 to furnish the interior of his townhouse on Second Street in Philadelphia. These screens likely correspond to a January 14, 1771 entry in Thomas Affleck’s (1740-1795) accounts for furniture made for Cadwalader: “To 4 Mahogany firescreens” at £2-10 each [a total of] £10-0. Affleck subcontracted the carving for the screens from Nicholas Bernard and Martin Jugiez, whose names appear at the end of his bill as separate charges for the carving, along with the carver James Reynolds.
The five other pole screens include one in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a Cadwalader family history that was stored during the 1940s by a descendant in the Philadelphia Athenaeum attic.3 Another example is in the collection of Winterthur Museum.4 A third pole screen formerly owned by Joe Kindig is in the Kaufman Collection.5 A fourth is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.6 The fifth pole screen formerly owned by Joe Kindig and now at Chipstone was sold in these rooms, Important Americana, January 30, 1988, sale 5680, lot 1848. That pole screen and the present example were both owned by Joe Kindig at the same time. At that time, the present pole screen had a period screen and needlework panel that was not original to the standard. During his ownership, Kindig switched the screens between the two. When Alan Miller purchased this pole screen for the Caxambas Collection from the Dietrich Americana Foundation, he discovered the needlework panel was original to the screen at Chipstone so he facilitated a switch back.
A closely related pole screen of identical design but with claw feet rather than hairy paw feet is in the collection of Winterthur Museum.7 Demonstrating the form was available with different design options, the Winterthur pole screen likely stems from the same shop as others in the group.
1 See Luke Beckerdite, “Philadelphia Carving Shops, Part II: Bernard and Jugiez,” The Magazine Antiques (September 1985), pp. 498-513.
2 See Beatrice Garvan, Philadelphia: Three Centuries of American Art (Philadelphia, 1976), p. 101.
3 See Morrison Heckscher, American Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1985), no. 132, pp. 204-5.
4 See Joseph Downs, American Furniture (New York, 1952), no. 236 and 237.
5 See J. Michael Flanigan, American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection (New York, 1986), no. 32, p. 94.
6 See Garvan, no. 80, p. 101.
7 See Downs, no. 238.