Rare Victorian - Another Early John Henry Belter Chair?

Another Early John Henry Belter Chair?

John Henry Belter Chair 731778 Another Early John Henry Belter Chair?

John Henry Belter Chair 731778 Another Early John Henry Belter Chair?Charles, AKA “Peakangus” in the forum, sent me these photos of a Rococo chair that he owns that is possibly a Belter piece. A few characteristics that when combined point to it being by JH Belter:

  • Hollow brass casters
  • Laminated construction
  • Rosewood composition
  • Pierced-carved back
  • Spiral terminated feet in a style seen on Belter pieces
  • Applied crest

Any of these elements alone wouldn’t be enough to point to Belter, but together they add up to a reasonable attribution. There are a few detractors, however:

  • I’m not used to seeing shell carving on Belter pieces as is present on the skirt and crest but I found a shell carving on one Belter worktable on page 83 of the Belter book.
  • With some cursory research I have not seen a Belter piece with “sprockets” on the legs as this one has but I have seen pieces by Prudent Mallard which have.
  • The applied crest, which Belter executed on some of his early pieces, bothers me in that it doesn’t look like ones that he made.

Belter crest 784427 Another Early John Henry Belter Chair?
I attribute this chair to likely be by John Henry Belter, but with a few reservations. Although some of the elements don’t look like Belter’s work, I have not researched it completely. One can never be certain that we’ve run across the full spectrum of a cabinetmaker’s work in the past and that we aren’t seeing something new to us.

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  • RareVictorian - May 21, 2009

    Adele, if you’re still out there, contact me at info @ rarevictorian.com for more information.

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