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Side chair (one of a pair)

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Side chair (one of a pair)

Delaware Valley and environs

1755-1785 41-1/2 in x 23-1/2 in x 22-1/8 in Walnut; hard pine (slip seat), white cedar (corner blocks)

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

1958.3220

Chair .1:  “I” is chiseled into the front seat rabbet; "VI" is chiseled into the slip seat.  Chair .2:  “III” is chiseled into the front seat rabbet; "V" is chiseled into the slip seat.

Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp

This chair and its mate (chair .1 was photographed) have several characteristics of early Chippendale chairs of the Philadelphia area.  Specifically, the splat pattern is among the earliest used, the chair-back is bordered by a scratch-bead, and the cabriole legs end in trifid feet (which continued in use for a long time).  The four carved shells--at the crest, the front rail, and each of the two front legs--are long and thin, again suggesting an early date.  In contrast, the proportions of the chair suggest a later date.  The back is especially broad, more in keeping with seating of the 1770s and later.  Also, the rear legs are rounded rather than chamfered.  Each of the seat rail joints is secured with two pins, and the side rails are tenoned through the rear stiles.  The splat is nicely carved.