English, probably London, 1765-1768, each with distinctive carved crest rail over a pierced splat, 37 x 22 x 21 in.
Note: This pair of chairs is virtually identical to an example in the collections of Colonial Williamsburg (see Hurst and Prown, Southern Furniture, 1620-1830, catalog no. 29). The Williamsburg chair descended through the Edward Ambler family of Jamestown, having been purchased at the auction of Lord Dunmore's effects in 1775. At least one other chair from the same set descended through the Nicholas family of Williamsburg and Albemarle County; it too carries the tradition of Dunmore ownership. The chair may have arrived in the colony with Lord Botetourte in 1768. The catalog notes that "if so... (the chair) must have been among the first Neoclassical furniture ever seen by Virginians at the time."
Provenance: Private Collection
rough condition with breaks and repairs including replaced seat rails (one chair retains its original rear beech seat rail), some stretchers restored, breaks and repairs at crest rails (one with more extensive breaks, with area of infill at joint to one rear stile and some loose elements from breakage), both chairs in need of conservation