Walnut, yellow pine

H: 38.5″; W: 23.5″; D: 19″

Circa 1760-1775


Classic Philadelphia chairs of the period in construction, scale and proportion.  After the non-importation agreement was signed in 1765 which radically curtailed the supply of English goods in the colonies, Philadelphia cabinetmakers concentrated on producing local versions of the more elaborate English prototypes.  To this end, the concentration was on form, line and scale, rather than intricate carving.  This pair of simple but elegant sidechairs falls within this newly defined idea of native cabinetmaking.  The chairs also exhibit all of the construction techniques typical of Philadelphia at the time: side seat rails through-tenoned and pegged, two piece vertical grained glue blocks and separate knee returns

Stylistically they are also typical of Philadelphia.  the back is constructed to appear as one flowing line: the crest rail moves down into the Gothic splat which flows unbroken to the shoe. The cabriole leg begins below the front rail curves out and down, and returns in at the ankle and out to the trifid foot with a central tongue, making a complete reverse curve facing on a line drawn from the opposite back post. The separate knee returns are also formed in a simple reverse curve and the rear of side rails cut in a reverse curve mirroring the front of the side seat rail. Philadelphia style is all in the details.


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Christopher H. Jones Antiques

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