Lot 11
  • 11

Thomas Molesworth

40,000 - 60,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Thomas Molesworth
  • Four Early Panel-Back Armchairs From O.T.O. Ranch, Montana
  • fir, routed and stained oak, original green leather upholstery, yellow leather detailing, hammered brass tacks
  • 41 x 23 1/2  x 22 3/4  in. (104.1 x 59.7 x 57.8 cm) each
with tipi motif


Commissioned by Chan Libbey for O.T.O. Ranch, Gardiner, Montana, circa 1934-1935
Fighting Bear Antiques, Jackson Hole, Wyoming


O.T.O. Ranch: Dude Ranch Montana, sales brochure, circa 1940, n.p. (illustrated)

Catalogue Note

One of Molesworth’s earliest commissions was the famous “O.T.O.” Ranch in Gardiner, Montana, in 1934-1935.  Located near Yellowstone National Parks, it was one of the first ranches to market an all-encompassing dude ranch experience to vacationers, including log cabin retreats, fresh local food, horseback riding, and day trips to the National Parks.  Chan Libbey purchased the ranch in 1934 and commissioned Shoshone Furniture Company to furnish the interior.  With notable guests, such as Theodore Roosevelt and Marcellus Hartley Dodge (son-in-law of William Rockfeller), “O.T.O.” Ranch is where some of Molesworth’s characteristic pieces, with knotty burled fir and supple leathers, first gained traction among the country’s elite.   The hexagonal games table and associated chairs presented here come originate with this 1934 commission.  With their characteristic hand painted leather upholstery and routed tipi motif in the panel back chairs, Molesworth took the extra design step and added little medallions of yellow leather to each chair back.  The chairs are documented in an early ranch brochure (late 1930s) and retain their original upholstery.  The accompanying hexagonal games table is of exceptional rarity, with its inlaid leather top.  Executed in a rich and vibrant leather, the top presents with a geometric design, punctuated by arrows and Western motifs, while the base is exhibits an exceptionally large Inland fir burl.  Retaining all original leather elements, the set is an important and rare example of Thomas Molesworth’s early work.