Very Fine and Rare Chippendale Carved Mahogany Side Chair, Philadelphia, circa 1760
William du Pont, Newark, Delaware;
Alan Miller, Quakertown, Pennsylvania.
This chair stems from a set that is the most elaborate of the strapwork type, with additional carving on the shoe and extending from the knees up onto the seat frame corners. This chair or another from the set is illustrated by William MacPherson Hornor in Blue Book Philadelphia Furniture (Washington, DC, 1977), pl. 221 as owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Leib Harrison, Jr. and also Mrs. John K. Mitchell. Hornor notes in the caption that the chair is from a larger set of at least eight and represents a highly developed example of the form.
Similar side chairs of the same pattern lacking carving on the shoe and seat rail corners include one made for Levi Hollingsworth,2 one at Yale University,3 one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,4 and a set of one armchair and six side chairs at the Department of State that descended in the family of Vincent Loockerman of Dover, Delaware.5 The latter set is referred to in the 1785 inventory of Vincent Loockerman’s estate as “6 leather bottomed Walnut chairs (old) valued as 15s. a piece and “1 Ditto Arm chair” at 22s.6d in “the blue room upstairs.”
1 See a side chair at Winterthur illustrated in Joseph Downs, American Furniture (New York, 1952), no. 127 and one illustrated as a “Masterpiece” in Albert Sack, The New Fine Points of Furniture (New York, 1993), p. 41.
2 See William M. Hornor, Blue Book Philadelphia Furniture (Washington, DC, 1977), pl. 220.
3 See Patricia Kane, 300 Years of American Seating Furniture (Boston, 1976), no. 113, pp. 134-5
4 See Morrison Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1985), no. 48.
5 See Clement Conger and Alexandra Rollins, Treasures of State (New York, 1991), no. 17, pp. 98-9.