Possibly by John Gaines III (American, 1704–1743)
Object Place: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
102.87 x 48.26 x 43.81 cm (40 1/2 x 19 x 17 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Maple, possibly chestnut
Regional Styles in Middle Colonies Gallery (Gallery 134)
Although it contains the customary elements of New England seating furniture in the late Baroque style, this chair breaks the mold in its rounded stiles (rear vertical posts); idiosyncratic, pointed splat design; and tiny, almost vestigial, pad feet. Its most commanding feature is the carved double shell that ornaments the crest rail, capping a distinctive (if somewhat naive) version of an international style as interpreted on the banks of Portsmouth’s Piscataqua River.
The chair was bought in the region of Portsmouth, and owned for some years around 1930 by the dealer Cabby Stewart of Portsmouth.
Gift of Maxim Karolik