This chair is from a set of six English late Baroque, ca. 1700-1710 side chairs or “back stools” (HC.F.1922.408-413.[SF]) that are designed in the transitional William and Mary/Queen Anne period style. The chair has an over-upholstered tall back with a tri-lobed crest and serpentine-shaped sides. The silk damask upholstery is modern. The seat is half-over-rail upholstered, and the walnut veneered seat frame is centered with an oval of either holly or box veneer inlaid with walnut “seaweed marquetry” of bilaterally arranged foliate scrolls. The legs are cabriole in shape and employ a “broken ankle” profile that terminates in squared pad feet. To either side of the knees of the front legs are inlays of walnut “seaweed marquetry” on either a holly or a box veneer ground.
Seaweed marquetry, so-called because of its resemblance to seaweed floating in water, is first found on many late seventeenth century English cabinets and other pieces of furniture and is generally associated with the designs of the royal cabinet-maker Gerrit Jensen who served the English crown from the reign of Charles II to that of Queen Anne.
Three additional chairs from this set are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 45.40.2-4.
Purchased (as part of a set of six matching chairs) from C.H.F. Kinderman, London (dealer), by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, 5/7/1922.
Collection of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, Washington, D.C. 5/7/1922-11/29/1940.
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, House Collection, Washington, D.C.