Double chair-back settee

about 1770–80


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

Overall: 100.3 x 166.4 x 66 cm (39 1/2 x 65 1/2 x 26 in.)

Accession Number

1977.714

Medium or Technique

Mahogany, pine; new upholstery

On View

Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Gallery (Gallery 132)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Seating and beds

Double-chairback settees, fashioned after English models, are rare in American Rococo furniture, and the few examples known are all linked to Massachusetts. Here, the “owl’s-eye” splats; leafy, carved knees; and claw-and-ball feet point to a Boston origin. In addition, Thomas Melville, a Boston merchant and patriot in the Revolution, owned the settee, and it may have been made at the time of his marriage to Priscilla Scollay, in 1774

Provenance

Thomas Melville (1751-1832) m. Priscilla Scollay, 1774; to daughter Mary Melville, m. John D'Wolf 1808; to daughter Nancy Melville D'Wolf, m. Samuel Downes 1836; to daughter Gertrude Melville Downes, m. James D. Scudder 1864; to daughter Mary Pamelia Scudder, m. George B. Glidden 1884; to daughter Gertrude Glidden, d. 1964; to niece Geanne Glidden, m. John Higgins, of Stratham, New Hampshire; purchased in 1977 (Accession Date October 12, 1977)

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund