These Queen Anne side-chairs, with their fully developed shell-carved crests and shell-carved knees with pendant bellflowers, represent one of the most popular chair designs produced in Newport, Rhode Island in the 1760's. They are further distinguished by the survival of the water-gilt embellishing on the carved shells and ball-and-claw feet. This pair was made as part of a larger set of chairs of which only one other pair is known, sold as part of the Francis Shaw Collection, Anderson Art Galleries, Inc., New York, 1935, Lot 313. A number of closely related chairs also exist: a pair formerly in the collection of Mr. Guy W. Walker, Jr. are illustrated and discussed in
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640-1820 (Newport, 1954), p. 31, No. 5; a single side-chair, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is illustrated and discussed in Morrison H. Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Late Colonial Period: The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles (New York, 1985), pp. 42-43, No. 7.
A chair, now in the collection of the Bayou Bend Collection, is illustrated and discussed in David B. Warren, American Furniture, Paintings and Silver from the Bayou Bend Collection, p. 24, no. 40; a chair, now in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum, is illustrated and discussed in Katherine Bryant Hagler, American Queen Anne Furniture ( , ), p. 28; and a pair, now in the collection of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, is illustrated and discussed in Brock Jobe and Myrna Kaye, New England Furniture, The Colonial Era, ( , ), pp. 358-360, no. 99.