Bannister-back side chair, painted black, attributed to the Spencer family workhop of Hartford, Connecticut. This chair was made in the shop tradition of Obadiah Spencer, Jr. (1666-1741) in Hartford, Connecticut, whose grandfathers were Thomas Spencer (1607-1687), Hartford's leading turner during the seventeenth century, and Nicholas Disbrowe (1612-1683), the principal leading joiner. This chair provides a link to the later banister back chairs made in Deerfield by Zadock King (1725-1769) and his successors. Zadock King, Obadiah Spencer's grand nephew, probably learned his trade from his older brother, Parmenas King (1713-1800), who trained under Obediah and was an important joiner who worked in various Valley towns including Deerfield on the Elijah Williams house. Amelia Miller has documented Parmesas as a probable maker of elaborate Georgian doorways in the Connecticut Valley. Zadock King worked in the Deerfield area and died in Deerfield in 1769; his estate listed both joiner's and turner's tools. The chair has a solid arched crest rail; four turned banisters with the round side facing forward; flattened arch-shaped bottom rail; ball finials over similarly turned back stiles; trapezoidal rush seat; block-and-vase turned front posts ending in small modified Spanish feet; high front stretcher with vase-and-ring turnings in the center and three similarly-turned side and back stretchers; and plain back legs that are slightly flared near the floor.
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