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Side chair, splat-back

1740-1755
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
OH: 39"; OD: 20 1/4"; OW: 21"
Black walnut and yellow pine
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1958-616,1
Appearance: consists of rectangular back with reverse S-curve stiles; stiles beaded on outer edges, and rounded on back; splat unpierced and shaped in a baluster form featuring scrolled ears; rear edges beveled; coved and molded shoe; serpentine crest rail featuring incised beading on the outer edge, a rounded back, and carved ears; trapezoidal slip seat; scalloped front seat rail; side and rear rails are undecorated. Each front leg possesses a top post with rounded corners; legs are cariole in form and feature cleft knees, trifid feet, and ogee knee brackets; rear legs curve outward and are chamfered on all 4 edges; H-plan stretchers horizontally shaped.

Construction: all elements solid walnut (except mortise and tenon slip seat frames of yellow pine); front, side, and rear seat rails tenoned into legs (there are no through tenons on rear legs); 2 securing pins present at each of these joints; front stretcher tenoned into side stretchers which are in turn tenoned into front and rear legs; 4 knee brackets, each secured with 2 rosehead nails; splat tenoned into both crest rail and shoe; scrolled ears of splat applied with butt joints; shoe secured with 2 square head nails; stiles tenoned into crest rail and secured with 2 pins.
Label:William Savery attached his printed label to this side chair advertising that the buyer could procure "All Sorts of Chairs and / Joiners Work / Made and Sold by / William Savery, / At the Sign of the / Chair, a little be- / low the Market, in / Second Street, / Philadelphia." Philadelphia chairmakers competed with imported furniture from New England by producing stylish chairs at reasonable prices.
Provenance:According to a letter by Philip F. Cowan (Schuykill House Antiques, Box 142, Black Rock Road, Phoenixville, Pa) the chairs were purchased from Anna Hartshorne of Germantown, Philadelphia sometime in 1950s. These were then sold to Robert Trump who sold them to David Stockwell. According to Trump, he purchased the chairs from a member of the Brown-Sharp family also of Germantown. It is possible that both could be talking about different chairs.