A pair of chased brass overlaid teak side chairs<BR />designed by Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932)<BR />made in Ahmadebad, India, 1881-1882
Lot 1553W
A pair of chased brass overlaid teak side chairs
designed by Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932)
made in Ahmadebad, India, 1881-1882
Sold for US$ 242,500 inc. premium
Lot Details
Property of a Massachusetts Family
A pair of chased brass overlaid teak side chairs
designed by Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932)
made in Ahmadebad, India, 1881-1882
Chair without casters:
overall height 34 5/8in (88cm), seat height 16 3/8in (41.5cm), width of seat rail 22 1/4in (56.5cm), depth of seat 22 1/2in (57.2cm)
Chair with casters:
overall height 35 1/4in (89.5cm), seat height 16 7/8in (43cm), width of seat rail 22 1/4in (56.5cm), depth of seat 22 1/2in (57.2cm)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    - Personal collection of Lockwood de Forest, 7 East 10th Street, New York, listed in inventory of the house done between 1900 and 1922; at the time of the appraisal, they were situated in the front hall.
    - Sold American Art Galleries under the direction of the American Art Association, "The Lockwood de Forest Collection of Rare East Indian, Persian and Syro-Damascan Art and Curios," 1922, lot 489
    - Sold Gimbels under the direction of Hammer Galleries, "Art, Objects and Furnishings from the William Randolph Hearst Collection," 1941, lot 426
    - Thence by descent in the family of the purchaser

    There are two brass chairs copies of a silver chair I found in the palace at Solphore and made a drawing of showing that one of the oldest arts of thin metal over wood had been preserved in India. This use of metal over a wood dates back to a period so remote that we have lost count of it. Possibly 2000 or 3000 BC. It was used before casting by the core [sp] perdu process was discovered...What makes Indian art so important in history is that it was still being done with the same skill and perfection in 1881 as it had ever been in the past
    Lockwood de Forest, personal papers, undated transcript

    This remarkable pair of chairs reflects, as perhaps few other pieces can, the impact that Indian furniture and the Indian craft tradition had on Lockwood de Forest, a driving force behind the Orientalist movement in American decorative arts in the last few decades of the nineteenth century. His house, which is still standing at 7 East 10th Street in New York City, was termed by House Beautiful in 1900 as "The Most Indian House in America;" it is entirely fitting that these chairs graced the front hall and would have been among the first things to see upon entering the house.

    For an extensive and thorough discussion on Lockwood de Forest and the Orientalist movement, see Roberta A. Mayer, Lockwood de Forest: Furnishing the Gilded Age with a Passion for India (University of Delaware, 2008).
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