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Chair with Mount Vernon History

Lot 0143
1st item: Mahogany Chippendale ribbon-back side chair, descended in the family of U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835) and mentioned in a family document as having been given to Marshall for his work in settling the estate of a George Washington family member. Mahogany primary, yellow pine and cedar secondary woods. Serpentine pierced crest rail over three pierced serpentine or "ribbon" form slats, each with a central pierced ellipse flanked by pierced leaves, over a trapezoidal seat; straight Marlborough front legs joined with an H-stretcher in the center and raked-back rear legs also joined by a stretcher. 15 1/2" H x 18 1/2" W x 21 3/4" D. Philadelphia, circa, 1780-1800. Note: This chair bears a strong resemblance to a chair in the collection at Mount Vernon, which descended in the family of Martha Washington's granddaughter, Martha Custis Peter, but which has a slightly different apron configuration. Ref: https://www.mountvernon.org/preservation/collections-holdings/browse-the-museum-collections/object/w-2185/. The chair in this auction is believed to be the same one referenced in a 1950s inventory list complied by Charles Boyd Coleman of Chattanooga, TN, in response to a request that Mr. W. Melville Jones (Executive Director of the Marshall-Wythe-Blackstone Ceremonies) issued to the descendants of John Marshall regarding a complete compilation of Marshall's papers, books, pictures, etc. in celebration of the John Marshall Bicentennial Year, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, Saturday, September 25, 1954 (see attached scan). In this brief inventory, Coleman mentions "a silver gravy boat given to Marshall we understand in appreciation for helping settle estate of father of George Washington," and "one chair which we also understand was among items given for settling Washington estate." Research into the engraved crest on the gravy/sauce boat [sold by Case in our January, 2018 auction] linked the crest to Martha Washington's niece, Fanny Bassett (1767-1796), who married George Washington's favorite nephew, George Augustine Washington (1759-1793). The couple lived at Mt. Vernon until their untimely deaths, just three years apart. George Washington served as executor for the estate of his nephew George Augustine Washington (who was named after the President's father, Augustine Washington, b. 1694-d. 1753). Provenance: The Estate of Charles Boyd Coleman, Jr., Chattanooga, TN. Descended in the family of Lewis M. Coleman Jr. II (1894-1914), son of Lewis M. Coleman Jr., son of CSA Lt. Colonel Lewis Minor Coleman (1827-1863) and Mary Ambler Marshall, daughter of James K. Marshall and granddaughter of fourth U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835), a friend, attorney and biographer of George Washington. Lewis M. Coleman Jr. also was related to the family of Revolutionary War General Henry Dearborn by his marriage to Julia Wingate Boyd, daughter of Annette Maria Dearborn Boyd, who was the daughter of Greenleaf Dearborn (1786-1846) and great granddaughter of Henry Dearborn (1751-1829) on the side of her mother, Pamela Augusta Gilman (1802-1880). (Additional high-resolution photos are available at www.caseantiques.com.)


1st item: Chair is structurally sound with natural overall wear commensurate with age. Front feet have been tipped approximately 1 1/2". Tears to upholstery.

Buyer's Premium

  • 28%

Chair with Mount Vernon History

Estimate $1,000 - $1,200Jul 14, 2018