These pieces are scattered and nothing is known of their history before their separation. Four of them are numbered: III, IIII, V and VIII, with the matching frame numbers except for chair VIII which is fitted with frame I.
Their Queen Anne style was common in Philadelphia. The elegance of these luxury seats is obtained by the carefully rounded sculpture of their wood elements. The complex assembly is reinforced with iron in the most fragile areas. Their overall height, long elbows and hollowed decorated back confirm that they constitute a single group.
The comparison with other individual seats including side chairs leaves no doubt on the fact that they were manufactured in Philadelphia in the eighteenth century. The are the only group of its kind from which examples have survived.
The highest known number, VIII, suggests that they have been designed for the use of a community or a club. The name of the great bibliophile James Logan, who was also a mayor of Philadelphia, was forwarded but the argument about such a provenance is not based on documents of his time.
The chair V was sold for $ 2.25M including premium by Sotheby's on October 7, 2006 over a lower estimate of $ 500K.
A unique supernumerary armchair is known, without a serial number. Its final characteristics are identical to those of the other four units and it comes undoubtedly from the same original operation. Some holes to facilitate the assembly, present on the other chairs, are missing to this one, opening the interesting hypothesis that this piece would be a prototype for the series.
This armchair will be sold by Christie's in New York on January 22, lot 67 estimated $ 500K. It is deaccessioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art which dated it from 1740-1760. The catalog by Christie's rather positions it around 1755, which corresponds to the period of preparation of the Philadelphia public library following the very generous legacy made by Logan.
SOLD for $ 540K including premium