IMPORTANT PAIR OF CHIPPENDALE CARVED MAHOGANY COMPASS SEAT SIDE CHAIRS, ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN TOWNSEND, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770
 IMPORTANT PAIR OF CHIPPENDALE CARVED MAHOGANY COMPASS SEAT SIDE CHAIRS, ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN TOWNSEND, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770
 IMPORTANT PAIR OF CHIPPENDALE CARVED MAHOGANY COMPASS SEAT SIDE CHAIRS, ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN TOWNSEND, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770
 IMPORTANT PAIR OF CHIPPENDALE CARVED MAHOGANY COMPASS SEAT SIDE CHAIRS, ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN TOWNSEND, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770
1083

IMPORTANT PAIR OF CHIPPENDALE CARVED MAHOGANY COMPASS SEAT SIDE CHAIRS, ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN TOWNSEND, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770

Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 USD

IMPORTANT PAIR OF CHIPPENDALE CARVED MAHOGANY COMPASS SEAT SIDE CHAIRS, ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN TOWNSEND, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770

Estimate: 30,000 - 50,000 USD

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Lot Details

Description

IMPORTANT PAIR OF CHIPPENDALE CARVED MAHOGANY COMPASS SEAT SIDE CHAIRS, ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN TOWNSEND, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, CIRCA 1770


chair and seat frame both marked II and VII.

Height 38 in.

Condition Report

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Cataloguing

Provenance

Collection of John Howland Ricketson III;

Northeast Auctions Manchester, New Hampshire, The Collection of John Howland Ricketson III: Buzzard's Bay - Massachusetts Bay Colony, May 29, 1993, lot 57;

Marguerite Riordan, Stonington, Connecticut.

Literature

Rhode Island Furniture Archive no. 3699;

Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), p. 348 note 6.

Catalogue Note

These side chairs and their accompanying seat frames are marked II and VII. They were formerly owned by John Howland Ricketson III (1902-1986) of Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts. Another chair appearing to stem from the set was sold at Sotheby Park Bernet, New York, November 18-20, 1976, lot 1004 [RIF2806]. One other formerly owned by Israel Sack, Inc. is illustrated by John Kirk in American Chairs: Queen Anne and Chippendale (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972), no. 175, p. 136, [RIF1177].


Displaying serpentine crest rails with scratch-carved diaper pattern pendants, interlaced openwork splats, balloon seats with wide rails, and front cabriole legs with rounded knees and claw and ball feet, these chairs closely follow the pattern of a set of side chairs made by the Newport cabinetmaker, John Townsend (1733-1809). Two chairs numbered III and X from the Townsend set descended directly in his family until they were sold at Christie’s, Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Silver, January 19, 2018, lot 161. Two other identical chairs descended from John Townsend to his daughter Mary (Townsend) Brinley and then to her niece, Ellen F. Townsend (see The Magazine Antiques (June 1937): fig. 3, p. 308). They are now in the collection of the Newport Restoration Foundation (inv. no. 1999.537.1-.2). Two other side chairs from this set are in a private collection and illustrated in a Leigh Keno American Antiques advertisement in The Magazine Antiques for September 1996.


Similar crosshatching is found on a card table with John Townsend’s label currently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see Morrison Heckscher, American Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985, cat. no. 100). The distinctive claw and ball feet with their elongated balls gripped by articulated talons devoid of webbing relate directly to those featured on the card table signed and dated by Townsend (see Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards, fig. 3.21, p. 109).

Triumphant Grace: Important Americana from the Collection of Barbara and Arun Singh
Live Auction Begins:25 Jan 2020 | 03:00 PM GMT