Accession No.: F 76.18
Object: Set of two armchairs and 12 side chairs
Maker/Artist: Unknown
Room: Dining Room
Description: Set of 12 painted and decorated fancy chairs: consisting of 2 arm chairs and 10 side chairs, bamboo turned with rush seat. Painted ivory with green highlights. Green fabric cushions or “squabs” made of wool and cotton in a moirĂ© pattern with narrow green, blue and gold twisted braid (reproduction fabric, see T 77.6). The turned front legs form a narrow neck at top and taper from a wide diameter at the top to slightly out swept ball feet.
Place of Origin: Probably New York region
Date: 1815-1830
Materials: Maple, ash, rush
Dimensions (inches): 35 1/2 x 18 x 16″
Provenance: Purchased from Sage House Antiques, Red Hook, NY, 9/18/76 Cushions were purchased from Scalamandre, see T 77.6.
Condition: All chairs have been stripped and repainted.
Similar Objects: A set of ten similar fancy chairs, with a label dated 1819 from cabinetmaker George W. Skellorn of Manhattan, were sold at Sotheby’s on January 24, 1995, Sale 6660, lot 2101.
Notes: Mr. Berry Tracy wrote the following about the fancy chairs in the mansion: ” By 1805, painted chairs and settees of Sheraton derivation had superseded the common Windsors in popularity and production. They were admired not only for their beauty, lightness and strength but because they could be had much cheaper than mahogany chairs. They were sometimes made of curled maple, but usually highly ornamented by skilled hands on either red, black, bright green, or straw colored ground, and had caned or rushed seats. Mrs. Dyckman apparently favored the fancy furniture in the initial period of furnishing her home, for a bill of 1807 from William Palmer in New York indicates that she purchased 12 bamboo fancy chairs and in 1808, a bill from Henry Dean shows she purchased 12 cross back green and gold fancy chairs with two settees to match. The making of fancy painted furniture was a separate trade from that of working in mahogany. The tradition of painted decoration continued in handwork of a different character in the 1820s as seen in the Livingston family benches and later the Dyckman/Cruger chairs.” One of these chairs is located in the Museum Room.
Credit Line: Purchase, 1976

Comments are closed.