Very Fine and Rare Set of Four Queen Anne Figured Maple Side Chairs, Philadelphia, Circa 1745
60,000 - 80,000 USD
What is guaranteed?
Very Fine and Rare Set of Four Queen Anne Figured Maple Side Chairs
Height 41 in. by Width 21 in. by Depth 17 in.; Seat 17 3/4 in.
Two of the chairs with period seat frames but not matching. The other two chairs with new, replaced seat frames. An additional two seat frames along with the lot of four chairs. Chairs respectively marked IIII, I, IIII, II. Period seat frames marked V, I, II. The first chair marked IIII lacking back corner glue blocks. The second chair marked I with front proper right knee return replaced. The third chair marked IIII and fourth chair marked II are in overall good condition. Original slip seat frame marked II / IIII is laminated with walnut and white pine.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
For two of the chairs:
Christie’s, New York, October 13, 1983, lot 286 (incorrectly identified as walnut in the catalogue). The catalogue notes under condition that one chair has an old crack in the shoe;
Philip Bradley, Inc., Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
One chair: Sotheby’s, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Folk Paintings and Silver, October 22, 1988, sale 5755, lot 424.
One chair: Kelly Kinzle, New Oxford, Pennsylvania.
Philip Bradley, Inc. advertisement. The Magazine Antiques (June 1984): 1024. Two of the chairs are illustrated.
Keim, Laura. “The Restoration of Stenton’s Yellow Lodging Room.” Incollect. November 21, 2017. The chairs are illustrated in figure 1.
Keim, Laura. “Yellow Lodging Room Re-creation and Restoration at Stenton.” www.stenton.org.
Keim, Laura. “Ochre, Old Fustic, and Maple: Reinstating Color, Texture, and a Flying Tester Bedstead in Stenton’s Yellow Lodging Room.” Zoom Webinar. www.stenton.org
Stenton, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Made of tiger maple, these side chairs are rare survivals of early Philadelphia seating furniture in the Queen Anne style. With a yoke crest, high plinth vase-shaped splat, straight stiles with an incised line over the splat, cabriole legs, trifid feet, and shaped flat stretchers, the chairs are identical in design and made as part of the same set. They display the same dimensions, maple figuring, and corner blocks. The chairs are numbered I, II, IIII, and IIII, and II on their front rails. One of the chairs numbered IIII had its mark added with a chisel while the other mark was scratched into the rail and perhaps added at a later date. There are three period seat frames marked I, II, and V which are unusual for being laminated horizontally and made of eight boards. The four side chairs were on loan to Stenton, the Georgian house built by James Logan (1674-1751) in Philadelphia in 1730. They were exhibited at Stenton in the yellow lodging room which originally contained maple furnishings including a set of “12 Maple Chairs w[i]th Worsted Damask Bottoms” valued at £16 10 and “1 Maple Chest of Drawers & Table” valued at £7.1
Two additional chairs from the set were formerly in the collection of Mrs. C. Hallam Keep and sold as part of her estate at Parke-Bernet Galleries on October 19, 1963.2 They were purchased by Jess Pavey for $1,400, a considerable sum at the time. He sold them to Martin Fuller, a Manhattan collector. After his death, they were sold to Jonathan Trace and subsequently sold to Leigh Keno. A private collector purchased the chairs from Leigh Keno in 1996 and gave them to Stenton. They also have early laminated seat frames and one has a repair to the left ear.
One chair from this set may correspond to a side chair that appears in the oil painting, Woman on Sofa Reading Letters, by George Cochran Lambdin (American, 1830-1896). George Lambdin was the son of the well-known portrait painter James Reid Lambdin and spent his career in Philadelphia. The painting descended in the Lambdin family and is in the collection of the Schwarz Gallery, Philadelphia.
Several other related Queen Anne maple side chairs with conforming stiles, lambrequin-carved knees, shaped flat stretchers and trifid feet include one at the Art Institute of Chicago,3 one at the Henry Ford Museum,4 and one sold in these rooms, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lammot Du Pont Copeland, January 19, 2002, lot 259.
Sotheby's would like to thank Laura Keim and Jay Stiefel for their assistance with the research for these chairs.
1 Laura Keim, “The Restoration of Stenton’s Yellow Lodging Room,” Incollect. November 21, 2017. The Logan high chest referenced in the inventory is in the collection of Stenton and exhibited in the yellow lodging room. See fig. 7.
2 The chairs were sold at Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., American Furniture From the Estate of the Late Margaret Williams Keep, October 19, 1963, lot 178.
3 Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of the Antiquarian Society, 1958.199.
4 Illustrated in Katharine Bryant Hagler, American Queen Anne Furniture, 1720-1755 (Dearborn, Michigan: Greenfield Village & Henry Ford Museum, 1976): 50.