Queen Anne Compass Seat Side Chair

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1740-1760
Walnut, old finish, marked “III,” original pine slip seat frame, height 40 inches, width 20 inches, depth 19 ½ inches

This side chair exemplifies the unadorned curvilinear aesthetics of the best mid-eighteenth century Philadelphia seating furniture. It is one of a small number of side chairs of this exact model with flattened serpentine stretchers and slipper feet that may represent a common set, with examples represented in the collections of Winterthur and The Philadelphia Museum of Art. These chairs are illustrated in William MacPherson Horner, The Blue Book of Philadelphia Furniture (Philadelphia, 1935), pl. 302; Joseph Downs, American Furniture, Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods (New York, 1952, no. 112, which bears an inscription indicating ownership in the Shoemaker (Schumacher) family, possibly Benjamin Shoemaker (1704-1757), mayor of Philadelphia in 1753, and Jack L. Lindsay, Worldly Goods The Arts of Early Pennsylvania, 1680-1748 (Philadelphia, 1999), p. 168, no. 123. A matching armchair is illustrated in Richard H. Randall, Jr., American Furniture in the Museum of fine Arts, Boston (Boston, 1965), no. 137.

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