With their elegantly carved and bellflower-inlaid oval-backs above bowed front seat rails and attenuated spade feet, this set of six chairs is a rare survival of Baltimore's celebrated Federal style. The tastes of Baltimore's nouveau riche citizens favored the English designs disseminated through the pattern books of Adams, Hepplewhite and Sheraton, and many of Baltimore’s cabinetmakers had only recently arrived from England. Many features seen on the present lot point to this propensity for English taste, including the pierced and inlaid oval back, spade feet and swollen front seat rail featuring crossbanding around the bottom. Construction also followed English precedents, including the treatment of the upholstery, which is taken over only over the top half of the seat rail, and the narrow rectangular blocks placed diagonally at the corners, known as an “English brace” ([The Baltimore Museum of Art], Baltimore Furniture: The Work of Baltimore and Annapolis Cabinetmakers from 1760 to 1810 (Baltimore, 1947), p. 15-19). Although oval-back chairs with three pierced splats such as these exist in several iterations, there are three seemingly identical examples published, comprising a pair in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art (William Voss Elder III and Jane E. Stokes, American Furniture 1860-1880 from the Collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, 1987), pp. 35-36, cat. no. 21) and a single chair that was in the collection of Mrs. Frederick Leiter and exhibited in Baltimore Furniture: The Work of Baltimore and Annapolis Cabinetmakers from 1760-1810 at the Baltimore Museum of Art (p. 91, cat. no. 54).