A CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY ARMCHAIR
This lot is offered without reserve. PROPERTY FROM THE WESTERVELT COMPANY
A CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY ARMCHAIR

ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH B. BARRY (1759/60-1838), PHILADELPHIA, CIRCA 1818

Details
A CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY ARMCHAIR
ATTRIBUTED TO JOSEPH B. BARRY (1759/60-1838), PHILADELPHIA, CIRCA 1818
38 in. high
Provenance
Family of John Ray, Philadelphia
Private Collection
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York
Literature
Donald L. Fennimore and Robert Trump, "Joseph B. Barry, Philadelphia Cabinetmaker," The Magazine Antiques (May 1989), p.1220, pl. X.
Special notice

This lot is offered without reserve.

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Lot Essay

As discussed by Donald L. Fennimore and Robert Trump, this chair features a crest rail carving closely related to that on a caned sofa labeled by Joseph B. Barry (1759/60-1838) (Magazine Antiques (May 1989), pp. 1220-1221, fig. 7). This same carving appears on a related pair of armchairs that Barry made for Isaac Minis, a wealthy Jewish landowner and financier in Savannah, Georgia (Allison Boor, Jonathan A. Boor, John William Boor, Peter Boor and Christopher Boor, Philadelphia Empire Furniture (West Chester, Pennsylvania, 2006) pp. 298-299, fig. 155). Displaying fanciful dolphin hand holds that are richly carved with extraordinarily detailed teeth and nostrils, this side chair illustrates the exuberance and refinement of furniture made in the Philadelphia shop of Barry. The chair's design is taken from plate 443 of Pierre de la Mésangère's Collection des Meubles et Objets de Goût, which depicts a similar open armchair with square back, tapering legs, rectilinear seat rail and the carved crest rail extending above a solid tablet crest rail (Wendy Cooper, In Praise of America (New York, 1980), p. 256, fig. 291; as referenced in Fenimore and Trump "Joseph B. Barry, Philadelphia Cabinetmaker" The Magazine Antiques (May 1989) p. 1220, PL IX and X). This chair descended in Ray family of Philadelphia, owners of the United States Hotel, which opened in 1826 (G. O. Seilhamer, Memorial History of the City of Philadelphia: Special and biographical, p. 135).

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