John Henry Belter Also Worked In Oak

by John Werry on May 24, 2008

Pierced Oak Serpentine Armchair Possibly By Belter

This Oak armchair’s side chair equivalent is featured in the John Henry Belter book in figure 23. This book is not directly attributing it to Belter in the caption but it seems to lay out the foundation by which this attribution could be made.

In figure 27 and 27a of the book, a slipper chair with many the same serpentine design elements in the chair back is shown in a laminated Rosewood construction. Imagine a Rosalie with Grapes crest added to the top of the above chair, a cluster of grapes in the center of the back, a pair of leaves and a pair of acorns also added and that is what you have in figures 27 and 27a. The serpentine elements are identical.

I believe a strong case can be made to attribute the chair in figures 27 and 27a, as well as figure 28, to Belter. By association I will then attribute the above Oak chair to John Henry Belter.

Although we are used to seeing only Rosewood Belter pieces, it is documented that he also worked in Oak, but considered it “cheap” wood and preferred Rosewood.

This chair will start at $250 with an expected range of $500 to $800. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it only reach $400 since the Belter name is not being tagged to this particular sale.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

RareVictorian May 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Sold $550.


zeke May 25, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Many years ago Lise had a set of dining? chairs by Belter in oak. They were nice and most definitely Belter, but the coarse grain of oak did not lend itself near as much as rosewood to his fine work. They had many laminations and were really lovely though.

$550 for a belter chair is surely a bargain and i would have no problem having this chair in my collection, indeed, I would be very proud to own it.


Tom Slaiter January 23, 2013 at 9:43 am

Such a shame it was sold, I would’ve liked loved it in my chill out room! :-)

awesome post, thanks a lot & I agree with Zeke


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