American Empire Federal Altar Boy Chairs Gilbert Stuart Provenance(83 views)
Description: A pair of American Empire / Federal Altar Boy Chairs. Circa 1815-25. Provenance: in a scripted tour guide from the 1940’s it is written: “The small armchairs were gifts of Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). Gilbert Stuart was a famous Rhode Island painter whose best known work is a portrait of George Washington found on your dollar bill. The chairs a British Honduras mahogany.” This pair (2) of diminutive arm chairs were purchase from Trinity Church located a 1 Queen Anne Square in Historic Newport Rhode Island. Size: the seat is 15” wide and 16” deep; the back crest is 34” tall and the seat is 19” tall. Pencil notations on the underside of one of the chairs: "Covered new by H.G. Schwarz March 28, 1912 -1880 Laestrian (?)) Condition: when acquired, old green paint and applied gilt decorations survived; restoration included re-painting and re-gilding and surface restoration to the mahogany was executed. An unusual size: too large for a child chair and too small for an adult chair; we were told that they were used on the alter area specifically for altar boys. The church services no longer use altar boys and therefor had no need to keep this pair of chairs. The daughter of Gilbert Stuart, Jane Stuart (1812-1888), live in Newport around the corner from Trinity Church at 86 Mill Street. Her home still exists and has been lovingly restored. This pair of chairs include the “Guide” detailing the history of Trinity Church and its collection of important American decorative arts.
Condition Report: Restored
Provenance: Trinity Church Newport Rhode Island
Dimensions: Seat size: 15" x 16"
Literature: Trinity Church printed tour guide: “The small armchairs were gifts of Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). Gilbert Stuart was a famous Rhode Island painter whose best known work is a portrait of George Washington found on your dollar bill. The chairs a British Honduras mahogany.”
Medium: Carved mahogany
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