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  SET OF 6, OCHRE WHITE / PUTTY-COLORED, PLANK-SEATED, LYRE BACK, PENNSYLVANIA CHAIRS WITH STRONG DECORATION, CA 1840-1860
Dimensions (inches): 32.25" tall x 18" wide x 14.5" deep, 13.25" seat height
Description:
Set of 6 paint-decorated, Pennsylvania, plank-seated chairs of the mid-19th century (1845-65), with lyre or bootjack-style back slats and angel wing crest rails. The background is ochre white with bold, black striping and the bulbous turnings punctuated with a bright, chrome yellow. The elaborate embellishment of floral decoration and scrollwork is common to many chairs and benches made in rural Pennsylvania during this period. The primary elements on each chair is a pairs of red and white roses, surrounded by smaller, red and salmon flowers and greenery, and flanked by two more roses to the far left and right.

The origin of this chair type in Pennsylvania was a more durable outgrowth of the urban Windsor. Production began in the 1840’s and had virtually ceased by 1880. Chairs were often made by one person and painted by another, although in the same shop. Most historians feel that they were made to order with regard to decoration style, color, and to some degree, construction. It is almost unheard of, however, to see any more than 6 matching Pennsylvania plank seat chairs. This is a bit hard to explain given the large size of rural families, but the chairs must have been costly enough to make the purchase of more than 6 an extravagant undertaking for most rural households.

This unusual background shade is fairly rare and, with yellowing shellac, often hovers between oxidized white, putty, mustard, and tan, depending on the light source, sometimes with salmon overtones. In this sense I find it comparable to after-market, custom car finishes, where two different colors are layered on top of one another, interspersed with layers of clear coat, so that they look different depending on the angle of the sun. I keep a set in this color in my own collection, because they are so interesting, and have enjoyed them for many years.

Condition: The paint surface is original. Some expected wear, fading, and paint loss, and yellowing of the varnish.
   
Primary Color: ochre white, putty, tan, mustard
Earliest Date: 1845
Latest Date: 1865
For Sale Status: Available
Price $6,500
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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