Jean-Baptiste-Claude Sené (French, 1747–1803)
95.25 x 64.77 x 60.96 cm (37 1/2 x 25 1/2 x 24 in.)
Medium or Technique
Ann and William Elfers Gallery (Gallery 245)
Part of a set of furniture (including Bed 21.1265, Kneeling Chair 53.2092, Bergere 36.640 and Firescreen 27.533, Armchair 50.2342 and Side Chairs 27.524, 27.525, 47.244, and 53.2850)
1787, delivered to Marc-Antoine Thierry de Ville d'Avray, intendant-general of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, Paris [see note 1]; 1792, seized by the French government [see note 2]. 1794-1796, acquired in Paris by James Swan, Boston and Dorchester, MA [see note 3]; by 1796, with his wife Hepzibah Clark Swan (d. 1825), Boston and Dorchester, MA; 1825, after her death, by inheritance to one of her three daughters; by inheritance to her descendants, Mrs. Helen Howard Hudson Whipple and Mrs. Alice Wayland Hudson White [see note 4]; 1953, gift of Mrs. Helen Howard Hudson Whipple and Mrs. Alice Wayland Hudson White. (Accession date: December 10, 1953)
 see Howard Rice, "Notes on the Swan Furniture," MFA Bulletin, Vol 38, p. 36-48.  After the downfall of the monarchy on August 10, 1792, Thierry was imprisoned and his belongings were seized. He died in the massacres at the Prison de l'Abbaye in September, 1792.  James Swan was a merchant established in Paris, and was appointed an official agent for the purchase of supplies in the United States in 1794 by the French Government. His partner was Johann-Caspar Schweizer, a Swiss. According to Howard Rice, the French Government placed at his disposal luxury goods to be exchanged in America for food supplies and war materials. The Swan and Schweizer agency shipped these articles to the United States between 1794-1795, where much of it was sold. However, this piece was among those that Swan kept for his personal use. See H. Rice "James Swan, Agent of the French Republic 1794-1796" The New England Quarterly, Vol. X, No. 3, Sept. 1937, p. 464-486.  The three daughters of James and Hepzibah Swan were Mrs. John T. Sargent, Mrs. William Sullivan, and Mrs. John C. Howard, all of Boston, MA.
Gift of Mrs. Helen Howard Hudson Whipple and Mrs. Alice Wayland