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Artist/maker unknown, American

This armchair descended in the Powel family of Philadelphia; it is thought that it originally belonged to Samuel Powel, Sr. (1673-1756).

During the late 1740s and 1750s, chairmakers further developed the form and ornamentation of the cabriole-leg, compass-seat chair. They decorated the curved, scroll-cut back slat with carved scroll volutes or with pierced designs, anticipating the lighter proportions, verticality, and ornamentation of the coming Rococo style. These elaborations continued until chairmakers abandoned the compass-seat shape for trapezoidal seat frames.

Object Details

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