Philadelphia, Circa 1740
Maple (Acer sp. by microanalysis) with yellow pine framed slip seat
Height – 36 ¾” overall, 16 ½” at seat rail, Width 21 ½” overall, Depth 19”
This chair belongs to an early group of Philadelphia “Crook’t Foot” or cabriole leg chairs that share a number of characteristics with later chairs labeled by William Savery but predate his work as an independent chair maker. The earliest labeled Philadelphia examples of the crook’t foot chair style yet discovered came from the shop of William Savery, but an even earlier group distinguished primarily by the presence of an unusual and redundant second rail above the seat rail has been identified.
Intense competition existed between chair makers in Philadelphia and Boston leading to considerable emulation of imported Boston chairs by Philadelphia makers who produced very similar chairs. The location and design of the redundant cross rail “shoe” is a feature known only on Philadelphia chairs, the yellow pine slip seat, and other construction details such as the shaping of the feet and chamfering of the legs confirm this chair’s Philadelphia attribution.
The chair survives in an outstanding state of preservation with a first generation surface and the original leather covered seat. There is a small old loss to the crest rail.