William and Mary side chair with a banister back, rush seat that is an old replacement, and early black paint. Banister back chairs were one of the most stylish types of early seating furniture made in the American colonies. Based on English examples, they were made made from the early 1700s well into the 1800s, both in urban and rural areas. Boston chairmakers achieved renown for creating the best quality banister back chairs using elaborately carved, scrolled crest rails and intricately turned legs and stretchers that are reminiscent of cane chairs; these types of chairs were made from Boston eastward to coastal New Hampshire. The turnings on this chair are similar to one owned by the Ipswich Historical Society, which is attributed to John Gaines II (1677-1748) or his son, Thomas Gaines I, (1712-1761) who were turners in Ipswich, and descended in the Appleton family of Ipswich. The chair has a carved, scrolled, and pierced crest rail with a cneter fluer-de-lis flanked by large C-scrolls; ball-turned finials on the tops of the turned back stiles; four split banisters with outlines conforming to the turnings on the stiles and the flat side facing the sitter; rounded tablet on the bottom rail of the back; ball-and-ring turned front stretcher and center-swelled turned side stretchers; and block-and-vase turned front legs ending in vase and ball feet in front and plain square back legs connected with a plain turned stretcher.
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