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An Important Set of Six Early Cherry Chairs with Horseshoe Seat, Claw-and-Ball Feet, with Carved Knees, Providence, Rhode Island, c.1760

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Text of an Identification Document provided by Bernard  & S.Dean Levy follows:

I have examined this set of chairs and found it to be as described below:
Important Set of Six Transitional Queen Anne-Chippendale Side Chairs
Attributed to Grindall Rawson (1719 - 1803)
Providence, Rhode Island circa 1760 - 1770

Primary wood: Cherry
Secondary wood: Cherry seat frames, Pine blocks

Height: 37 inches
Width: 21 ½ inches
Depth: 18 ¼ inches

Provenance: Moses Parsons, father of Theophilus Parsons, Massachusetts; The Parsons Family to Mary Parsons Long, Princeton, New Jersey.

Reference: Bernard & S. Dean Levy, Inc. Gallery Catalog I, page 16.
A set of six cherry side chairs with serpentine crest rails ending in moulded ears above a pierced and carved splat, above a horseshoe shaped seat. The cabriole shell and bellflower carved front legs are connected by block and turned stretchers, and end in ball and claw feet. The chairs are in excellent condition, and have their original seat frames, and have only the normal repairs expected from use and wear.

In determining the origin of the chairs to be Rhode Island, most probably Providence, we based our opinion in part by the process of elimination. The splat is similar to Massachusetts examples, but the carving of the shell and bellflower on the knee of cabriole legs, and the heavily webbed claw and ball foot, are Rhode Island characteristics. The use of cherry as the primary wood is also found on a highboy attributed to Providence, and the knee carving and claw and ball feet appear to be by the same hand as the highboy attributed to Grindall Rawson (1719 - 1803), illustrated and discuss in Antiques Magazine, July 1980, "The Rawson Family of Cabinetmakers in Providence, Rhode Island," by Eleanor Bl. Monahon, page 134, plate 1 and figure 1. Also, a related Rhode Island foot is illustrated in John Kirk, American Chairs - Queen Anne and Chippendale, page 53, figure 37.
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