RARE SET OF ELEVEN AMERICAN SHERATON "FANCY" CHAIRS
Probably New York circa 1815-30
Item # 709RNZ26P
A most interesting and rather rare collection of eleven “fancy” Sheraton chairs, these have remarkably remained together for nearly two-hundred years. They retain a very early and almost certainly original painted surface, the slat back crest with stenciled decoration in gilt of grapes flanked by leaves over an ivory ground. The set is composed of two arm chairs with nine side chairs, the arm chairs with tapered posts that are raised over ring-and-baluster turned arm supports. Each seat is woven with original rush and remnants of the original white paint throughout the reeds. The apron is surrounded by a bentwood outer-frame around generous oak or ash inner framing, resulting in a very sturdy seating. Of particular interest is the leg form on both the front and back of each chair - this very distinct leg is characterized by a dramatic taper from the swollen baluster upper into the tiny ball feet, all while curving gently outward in a most attractive splay. This is a form generally found only in upstate New York, see literature below for examples.
- American Windsor Chairs, Nancy Goyne Evans, 1996, p. 221-229
- 300 Years of American Seating Furniture, Patricia Kane, 1976, p. 185-186
Measurements: [arm chairs] 20 7/8” W x 18 1/4” D x 32 7/8” H; 17 3/8” H to seat [side chairs] 18” W x 18 1/4” D x 32 7/8” H; 17 3/8” H to seat
Extensive loss to original paint throughout. Chips and wear to wood, particularly around the aprons. Original rush seats, most still usable though with significant wear and holes; a few seats probably should be replaced before use. Repair to the broken stile of one side chair.