Set of four New York yellow painted and transfer decorated fancy chairs, the crest with a fox hunt over a slat with a portrait bust of Benjamin Franklin centering painted lyres; the caned seat with grapevines to the front rail raised on turned legs joined by numerous stretchers.
American c. 1820
16.5" wide x 16.5" deep x 33.5" high
PRICE: $950 each
Condition: Fine condition, with no repairs or repainting. One seat needs re-caning, as shown in the photo.
Patriotic motifs were popular on Federal furniture. The bust of Benjamin Franklin on these chairs is based on a 1777 terracotta medallion by sculptor Giovanni Battista Nini (1717-1786). (See photo.) Franklin served in France as representative of the American Revolutionary government to build support for the war effort against the British. He later served as America's first ambassador to France.
See Nancy Goyne Evans, "Paint and Ornament on Federal Period Vernacular Chairs", The Magazine Antiques (May 2006): 112-113.