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Armchair, banister back

1720-1750
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
OH: 48 7/8"; SH: 16"; W (at arms): 23 1/4"; OD: 17 1/2"; SD: 15 3/4"
Maple, oak, and white pine
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Miodrag R. Blagojevich
Acc. No. 1976-448
Banister-back armchair with an arched crest rail. Back of chair angled towards rear. The baluster turned and blocked stiles have urn shaped finials. Three molded banisters are tenoned into the crest rail and rectangular stay rail with molded lower edge. The arched underside of the crest rail is molded in continuation of the outer banisters. The downward curving arms terminate in a rounded partial scrolls. Baluster turned arm supports are extensions of the front legs. The leather-covered seat has a leather border around the outside of the seat rails, decorated with two rows of evently spaced brass nails at the top and bottom of the border (leather and nails replaced). The front legs are blocked and turned terminating in Spanish feet, while the back legs are square and are chamfered on the front faces of the feet. Ball and disc turning on the stretchers (side, medial, and back).

Woods: maple, oak seat rails, and white pine corner blocks.
Label:Stylistically, this chair represents a combination of the joiner's tradition with that of the complexly turned approach of the late seventeenth century. The down-thrust arms and the heavily framed back and crest survive from the wainscote-panel chair tradition, while the delicately turned stiles, H-stretchers, and carved Spanish feet are in the more fashionable William and Mary style. The broad, horizontal rail at the bottom of the back suggests that the chair was originally used with a thick cushion, a practice popular in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Provenance:Mr. and Mrs. Miodrag R. Blagojevich, West St. Mary's Manor, Drayden, Maryland