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    Sale 2133

    American Furniture and Decorative Arts including English and Dutch Delft

    23 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 213

    The Benjamin Franklin Chippendale Walnut Commode Armchair

    PHILADELPHIA, 1750-1770

    Price Realised  


    The Benjamin Franklin Chippendale Walnut Commode Armchair
    Philadelphia, 1750-1770
    44 in. high, 29¾ in. wide, 21 3/8 in. deep

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    Recently featured in the traveling exhibition celebrating the tercentenary of Franklin's birth, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World, this commode armchair is a rare survival from the renowned statesman's household. With its bold, outscrolling arms and trifid feet, the armchair illustrates the Philadelphia aesthetic of the Queen Anne and early Chippendale eras and was most likely made in the late 1750s or 1760s. Like most of the surviving artifacts once owned by Franklin, the armchair was inherited by his daughter, Sally, who married Richard Bache (1737-1811). The armchair then descended primarily along the female lines to the present owner. For more on Franklin's household possessions, see Page Talbott, "Benjamin Franklin at Home," in Page Talbott, ed., Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World (New Haven, 2005), pp. 122-161.


    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Philadelphia
    Sally (Franklin) Bache (1743-1808), daughter
    Sarah (Bache) Sergeant (1788-1863), daughter
    Frances Sergeant (Perry) Pepper (1850-1918), granddaughter
    Oliver Hazard Perry Pepper (1884-1962), son
    Eulalie (Pepper) Lewis (1917-1968), daughter
    Thence by descent in the family

    Pre-Lot Text



    Included in the The Franklin & Marshall College Franklin Artifacts database, available online at www.benfranklin300.org.


    St. Louis, Missouri, Missouri Historical Society, Houston, Texas, The Houston Museum of Natural Science, Denver, Colorado, Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Atlanta, Georgia, the Atlanta History Center, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World, 2006-2007.