about 1730–40, with later alterations
Overall: 112.6 x 202.6 x 91.5 cm (44 5/16 x 79 3/4 x 36 in.)
Medium or Technique
Beechwood; 18th-century tapestry-woven upholstery
Not On View
See 65.2493-65.2498. Triple-back settee on eight short cabriole legs. Top and front seal rail carved. Tapestry coverings illustrate scenes from La Fontaine’s Fables.
1919, possibly exhibited at the Cincinnati Art Museum [see note 1]. By 1925, Duveen Bros., New York [see note 2]; probably sold by Duveen to Clarence Mackay (b. 1874 - d. 1938), Roslyn, NY; 1939, Mackay estate acquired by Seligmann and Co., New York [see note 3]. By 1946, Basil Dighton, New York; 1946 or 1947, sold by Basil Dighton to Forsyth Wickes (b. 1876 - d. 1964), New York and Newport, RI [see note 4]; 1965, bequest of Forsyth Wickes to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 24, 1965)
 A suite of French furniture, including a settee and eight arm chairs covered with tapestry illustrating the Fables of La Fontaine, were included in the Loan Exhibition of French Furniture and Furnishings Including Tapestries (Cincinnati Art Museum, March 1-16, 1919), cat. no. 9. No lender is given in the catalogue. These are said to be identical to the suite now at the MFA (accession nos. 65.2493-65.2499, including 6 chairs rather than 8) on the bills of sale from Basil Dighton to Forsyth Wickes.
 George Leland Hunter, The Practical Book of Tapestries (Philadelphia and London, 1925), illustrates the settee and one of the chairs from the MFA suite (plates XXe and XXf), then in the possession of the dealer Duveen.
 That the chairs and settee belonged to Clarence Mackay is according to the bills of sale from Basil Dighton. They may be the 18th century French sofa and chairs "carved and gilded, covered with tapestry" that are listed in an inventory and an appraisal of the Mackay collection around 1939 (Archives of American Art, Seligmann papers, Series 2, Collectors files: Mackay Collection. Box 238, folder 6: 1939 inventory and Box 240, folder 6: Insurance lists, 1939).
 Forsyth Wickes purchased the chairs in the suite (MFA accession nos. 65.2493-65.2498), from Basil Dighton between 1946 and 1947, and almost certainly purchased the settee at the same time.
Bequest of Forsyth Wickes—The Forsyth Wickes Collection