An American Ebonised & Gilt Decorated c.1840 ‘Boston Rocker’ Armchair

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Origin: American
Period: Early/Mid Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1830-50
Height: 42.25 inches
Width: 22.25 inches  
Depth: 35.5 inches (with rockers)
(all at maximum points)

The ebonised spindle back elm seated ‘Boston Rocker’ Rocking Chair having the traditional rolling seat, curved arms, large crested top trail, seven concave spindles with open arms and turned legs and stretcher on sleigh rockers with traces of painted gilt floral decoration to both the seat and top rail, survives from the second quarter of nineteenth century America.

The chair has expected patination and wear to the right areas with the seat and arms having the most wear to the ebonised finish with areas of bubbling. The gilt decoration is fifty percent faded as an average, which makes it beautifully decorative. The piece is stable and rocks without any complaint. There are areas to joints where the paint has come away to a lighter paint.

Boston rockers as they are known originated in 1830 and it became very popular in the mid 19th century and were once described by the pioneer American furniture historian Wallace Nutting as “the most popular chair ever made, which people sit in, antiquarians despise and novices seek.” From 1830 to 1890 the Boston rocker was the standard American rocking chair. Its popularity spread from New England across the nation, and it was exported to France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, China, and India. The earliest versions were handcrafted, but after 1840 Boston rockers were mass-produced by many makers. What distinguishes the classic Boston rocker from other rocking chairs are its gracefully scrolled seat, high spindled back, spool turnings, and rolling crest and headpiece. The first Boston rockers, which were as likely to have come from Connecticut as from Boston, were made of oak with solid pine seats. Not so many boston rockers were ebonised.

Perfect for telling stories on the porch with a bottle of Jack and two grandkids in your lap.

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