Aesthetic Movement Spiderweb Chair Spider

Aesthetic Movement Spiderweb Chair

by John Werry on October 16, 2010

Here is a really unique Aesthetic Movement chair for sale incorporating a spiderweb, spider and butterfly caught in the web.  The design of the back also includes a pair of what appear to be palm fronds, a wreath, a ribbon and hand fan.  Quite an eclectic combination of motifs.  The wood appears to be mahogany and the feet are terminated in brass or bronze tips.  If intersted in this chair, see the contact page above to reach me.

Aesthetic Movement spiderweb chair 2 e1287073213915 Aesthetic Movement Spiderweb Chair

Aesthetic Movement spiderweb chair e1287073272700 Aesthetic Movement Spiderweb Chair

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Vintrest-John S. October 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

What a beautiful example in the Aesthetic Movement style! Somehow spiderwebs and spiders seem to have a prominent place in Aesthetic designs as do butterflys and other whimsical motifs derived from nature. I have an Aesthetic silverplated cup with spiderwebs, birds, butterflies, grasshoppers, urns, flowers, vines, maked “Quadruple” (silverplate) by the Rockford Silverpate Co. (design) 279. I also have a cherrywood chair with a large center medallion featuring a carved butterfly with open wings. It is awaiting restoration. When I worked at a local auction house in the 1990′s I recall a container shipment from the UK that contained a fine Aesthetic Movement wardrobe with side panels featuring spider webs, spiders, butterflies, birds and other whimsical nature motifs. (wish I could have bought it) It seems that for a while during the late 1870′s to early 1880′s there was a a specific nature motif design “vocabulary” used almost universally for pieces in the Aesthetic taste on both sides of the Atlantic. Regrettably, all too quickly the Aesthetic Movement “fad” evaporated leaving us with less than a whole decade of examples to choose from. This spider web motif chair is one of the best I’ve seen reflecting this short-lived style. I appreciate you posting it.

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Valerie October 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Beautiful! How anyone can pick Arts and Crafts starkness in comparison to such lovely Victorian era design is past me.

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renaissanceman October 23, 2010 at 12:38 am

Incredible chair!! A very rare example and unique design by one of the high end furniture makers in New York, perhaps Herter or Pottier & Stymus! I must have for any collector of Aesthetic 19th Century design.

Renaissanceman

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Kerry Shrives November 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm

The wonderful new Art of the Americas Wing at the MFA in Boston have an identical chair on exhibit, with an attribution to Ohio. Here is a link to an image of the MFA chair: http://www.skinnerinc.com/cms/cmsimages/mfa_aestheticchair.jpg

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John Werry November 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Thanks for the info, Kerry!

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Vintrest-John S. November 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Kerry, the link you provided is for Skinner Auction but the photo shows indeed an identical chair. I went to the Boston MFA website and tried to find this chair in their collection without success. You mentioned “Ohio” as a possible provenance-is there any other information that might lead to identifying the maker? Ohio had a number of furniture manufacturers in the late 19th Century, Robert Mitchell in Cincinnati comes to mind but there were certainly others. A lot of “Art Carved” furniture was made there by master carvers Ben Pittman and Henry and William Fry, father and son carvers as well as pieces by some of their family members and friends. Jennifer Howe wrote a book on 19th century art carved furniture from Cincinnati and this type of chair would be consistent with some of the furniture being made there in the early 1880′s. Hence my curiosity.

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Kerry Shrives December 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

John, I also couldn’t find the chair in the MFA’s online database, and don’t recall seeing it on exhibition in the past. I believe that the attribution was to Dayton, Ohio. I’m also very curious as to an attribution.

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Kerry Shrives January 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I want to correct my earlier post about attribution. The display label is as follows:

Side chair
Ohio (Toledo), about 1870-90
Walnut or mahogany,
replaced upholstery

Collection of Barrie and Deedee Wigmore, New York

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John Werry January 9, 2011 at 11:43 am

Thanks Kerry. The one pictured above appears to be Mahogany.

I wonder what the basis of the Ohio association is on the display label.

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