RARE AND FINE AESTHETIC MOVEMENT ROSEWOOD CORNER CHAIR, Crest stylized with Butterflies among Sunflowers c. 1880
Item # 130108ZTP12
Crafted in a form reminiscient of the Chippendale corner chair, borrowing somewhat from the "lowback" design of the American windsor chair while being entirely reinterpreted in light of Aestheticism, this chair is a very fine and rather uncommon example of the heights of this period. The crest rail is crafted in three parts, the arm rails on either side joined beneath the upper crest section; all three parts are joined from beneath with screws, the entire facade then being carved with an intricate flow of Sunflowers amongst foliate surmounted by two facing butterflies. Typifying nature while not imitating it, the image is captured by knife with remarkable precision over a chip carved ground. The arms of solid rosewood wrap around the chair, terminating in scrolled sunk Sunflower handholds. The arrangement is found in works of Alexander Roux, Herter Brothers, Gillows and Gregory & Co. as well as some similar examples by the firm of Pottier Stymus - similar flower arrangements are found in marquetry and carved of the solid. The Butterfly, Daisy, Chrysanthemum, Sunflower and Anthemion motifs dominate the period, heavily borrowed from Japanism and the flood of importations from the Orient during the period.
The back of the rail is formed of two bent splats between each post, these splats laminated with rosewood veneers on the outmost edges; the face of the splats are carved with a somewhat imaginary honeysuckle and anthemion over the chip carved ground. The posts are finely turned solid rosewood with scratched channels, terminating at the end in a turned ring-and-ball arrangement that originally would have rested over caster wheels.
The result is highly accomplished, a work that in every way exemplifies the sentiments of the Aesthetic Movement. For the serious collector of fine antique furniture, this important evolution in the life cycle of the corner chair is an inspiring work of art that must be preserved for future generations.
Measurements: 25 1/2" wide x 25 1/2" deep x 28 1/4" high to crest; 17" high to seat
Condition Report: Upholstery in "poor" condition and needs to be changed. Old cracks repairs to the crest rail, cracks along arm rail and where post joins rail. Sturdy, though lifting by the arms [never recommended] shows looseness between arm and posts. Chip to back of crest rail on right side and other scattered chips/losses to carvings, numerous abrasions to the legs and stretchers; some veneer losses/buckling to back of curved slats. Overall, very comfortable and strong for regular use.