Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Today I previewed Eldred's anual summer americana auction. I regularly check out the local auction houses looking for 1) sleepers, 2) damaged, repairable period antiques or 3) furniture for the wood. We might have found a sleeper.
Catalog entry No. 526 is an "Antique American Fan-Back Windsor Side Chair, circa 1790, with carved scrolled ears. Nine spindle back. Branded signature "Fletchworth" on bottom of the seat."
Using my reference library I couldn't locate a maker "Fletchworth." After finding the chair at the preview, I turned it over to check to the makers mark. What I discovered was that the brand was actually "I. Lechtworth." In the eighteenth century the "I" was actually a "J". So, I was now looking for "J. Lechtworth." Now I hit pay-dirt with my references. James Lechtworth was a windsor chairmaker in Philadelphia in the late 18th century. In fact he is credited with designing a highly ornamental slat-back chair at the turn of the nineteenth century.
This type of chair was popular prior to the revolutionary war and likely dates to 1770 - 1775.
Wish me luck.
P.S. If you bid on this chair and win, I have ways of finding you.