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    Sale 2109

    Property From The Collection OF George & Lesley Schoedinger

    18 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 488

    A PAIR OF QUEEN ANNE WALNUT SIDE CHAIRS

    BOSTON, 1740-1750

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF QUEEN ANNE WALNUT SIDE CHAIRS
    Boston, 1740-1750
    One chair marked II with its original slip-seat frame marked II; the other chair marked VI with a slip-seat frame marked I from the original set
    38½ in. high, 22 in. wide, 21½ in. deep (2)


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    A rare survival as a pair and embellished with expertly carved ornament, these chairs illustrate costlier models of a form popular in 1740s Boston. As explored by Joan Barzilay Freund and Leigh Keno, the use of walnut, compass-seats, carved shells and ball-and-claw feet, were all more expensive options available on top of the price of 26 shillings for a basic standardized form. A mahogany example at Chipstone is dated to the early 1740s by Freund and Keno and with a similar crest shell with wider central lobe and ball-and-claw feet with the same deep webbing, suggests a similar date of production for this pair (see Joan Barzilay Freund and Leigh Keno, "The Making and Marketing of Boston Seating Furniture in the Late Baroque Style," American Furniture 1998 (Milwaukee, WI, 1998), pp. 24-26, fig. 43). This pair is further distinguished by their slip-seat frames, one of which is original to the chair and the other is from the same original set.

    At the time of its sale in 1992, the chairs were noted to have descended in the Deblois and Wesson families. Comprising a tall-case clock, clothespress and desk-and-bookcase, several other examples Boston-made furniture from the same period have survived with a history of ownership from Gilbert Deblois (1725-1791) and he stands as a possible first owner of these chairs. One of Boston's leading merchants of his time, Deblois married Ann Coffin in 1749; while he was a Loyalist and removed to England upon the outbreak of the Revolution, his estate remained intact and passed down to his descendants (Alan Miller, "Roman Gusto in New England: An Eighteenth-Century Boston Furniture Designer and His Shop," American Furniture 1993 (Milwaukee, WI, 1993), pp. 180-182, figs. 27-30); Jonathan L. Fairbanks et al., Collecting American Decorative Arts and Sculpture 1971-1991 (Boston, 1991), p. 33, cat. 6; Sotheby's New York, January 19-21, 2007, lot 294).

    Provenance

    Descended in the Deblois and Wesson families, Boston
    Sotheby's New York, October 25, 1992, lot 319
    Alan Miller, Quakertown, Pennsylvania


    Literature

    David H. Conradsen, Useful Beauty: Early American Decorative Arts from St. Louis Collections (St. Louis, 1999), p. 22, fig. 4.


    Exhibited

    St. Louis, Missouri, Saint Louis Art Museum, Useful Beauty: Early American Decorative Arts from St. Louis Collections, June 19 to August 15, 1999.