Armchair

English or Dutch
early 18th century


Object Place: Europe, England

Dimensions

113 x 69 cm (44 1/2 x 27 3/16 in.)

Accession Number

1981.729

Medium or Technique

Wood; walnut with caning

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Seating and beds

Spooned, rectangular back with double arched crestrail. Two caned panels flanking a central splat. Arms curve out slightly ending in scrolls over serpentine arm supports. Caned seat over serpentine forelegs ending in hoof feet and ‘H’ shaped serpentine st


Over the years this chair has been variously identified as Italian, Swiss, Dutch, and English. The confusion reflects the international popularity of chairs with caned seats in the early eighteenth century. England invented the fashion and shipped thousands of them all over the world, from Boston to Stockholm. Craftsmen adapted the designs and produced local variations of “English chairs.” This example is striking for the lively turnings on its arm supports and legs-the seat frame is the only straight line in sight.

Provenance

By 1929, Dr. Lindsey Scott. 1957, sold to anonymous donor, Cambridge; 1981, gift of anonymous donor in memory of Vincent Cerbone to the MFA.

Credit Line

Anonymous gift in memory of Vincent Cerbone