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Antique American Mahogany Set 12 Matching Dining Chairs Circa 1900 Cowan Co.
A fabulous set of 12 matching dining chairs made by Cowan Co. circa 1890-1910. In the federal style, the set includes 2 armchairs and 10 side chairs. The chairs are solid mahogany and flame mahogany veneer, with satinwood inlay and boxwood and ebony stringing. They are all in good to excellent condition. Space does not allow for photographing of the entire set but the chairs that are pictured are very representative of the set. The one armchair pictured is in the worst condition of the 12. It has been repaired on both arms but is now sturdy. Please view all photos. The armchairs are 23" wide at the front by 40" high at the back by 18" deep. Floor to seat height is 18-19". The side chairs are slightly smaller proportions, by about 2". Guaranteed to be as described.
We have other pieces to this fabulous dining set which include, the large sideboard we currently have listed, A smaller sideboard, and extending dining table with a pedestal base which we will be listing soon. The table comes with 6 leaves and custom made pads. Please contact us if you are interested in the whole set. We have decided to list the pieces separately but would love to keep it all together. It has been in the same family as a set for almost 100 years. See below for some information on the maker.
W.K. Cowan Company, 1894 to 1916.
A Great Part of American Furniture History
A brief History of William Kennett Cowan:
W K Cowan (b 10/24/1869); Grad. Chicago Manual Training School 1889; Trained in architecture with Henry Ives Cobb (Chicago Varnish Co. Building, the Columbian Exposition, Newberry Library, Liberty Tower in Manhattan, and the King Edward Hotel in Toronto, and other notable places); Cowan designed and supervised all of the plumbing and "related fixtures" for the Columbian Exposition in 1893 Chicago.
In 1894 he started a special furniture business, which incorporated in 1901 with him as President and General Manager; by 1905 he had build one of the largest furniture factories in Chicago at 605 Lake Shore Drive at the foot of Ohio and Ontario Sts. Their Retail Store was at 203-207 Michigan Ave. This business was often called "Cowan Cabinet Made Furniture". They imported furniture until 1898 (English made, mainly). In 1898 they produced a wondrous catalog of their own furniture of hand crafted Mahogany and Circassian (European burled) Walnut with a "modest use of other decorative woods". The Univ. of CA has an online digitized copy:- its worth ogling. For a while they were the top of the furniture business with retail sales outlets in big named stores throughout the USA.
They fell onto hard times and sold all their remaining inventory, etc. to the Gimbel Bros. of Philadelphia in 1916. They still maintained a small furniture business until about 1920. Mr. Cowan died at his home (1422 N. State St. Chicago)in 1928.
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