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A Set of Four Fine Mahogany Queen Anne Side Chairs with Open Splat, probably Perquimmans County, c.1740-60

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These are a very finely sculptured set of Queen Anne chairs, but at first blush, one might think this is a later variant of the fiddle back federal chairs we see at the turn of the 19th Century.  These chairs are not that.   Note the sumptuous curvature on the crest rail (see chair profile view below) and also note how the ends of this yoke are molded beautifully into the vertical stiles (see front detail).   Also, note the curvature of the leg front leg; it’s like the rear leg of a racehorse, ready to take off.  Note the beautifully sculpted trifid foot; the claws are beautifully differentiated from the webbing. These are fine chairs, and came to us from an astute collector, who acquired them many years ago, in Chicago, from a noted dealer who felt these were Southern.   Perhaps, because they were acquired in that part of the world.
What is of interest to us is the very individualistic style the cabinetmaker expressed in the precision cut-out arches at the top of each piercing.  Note the upper middle piercing stops shy of the other two.   We also recognize that this form is related to chairs attributed to Perquimans County (1760-90) which is illustrated in the Furniture of Coastal North Carolina, John Bivens.  The difference between these chairs and ours stylistically, is that ours are finely worked Queen Anne legs with a Trifid style foot, whereas the other illustrated are square stock...this tells us ours are probably a bit earlier, 1740-60.
What we do know is that these chairs are early, the wood is very dense, and all is in first rate condition, having been reglued et al.   There are no breaks whatsoever.  This set has a new, strong set of insert seat frames that are not yet covered, but we also have the originals (which are shown under upholstery).  This work was done in the shop of Alden Anderson, one of the best in the field.

Height: 36 1/2 in.  Seat Height: 18 1/2 in. 
Width: 20 1/2 in.  Depth: 20 1/2 in.
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