Unusual Brass Chair – ca. 1900

by John Werry on March 8, 2011

Post image for Unusual Brass Chair – ca. 1900

I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a brass chair before aside from those depicted in books.  You may also remember this very unusual glass chair that sold three years ago – I haven’t seen one again since.

It’s more common to see brass beds, lamps, tables, and stands, but chairs seem to be less common. The book, A Brass Menagerie does have a diminutive chair made in the 1880s pictured on page 55 and a tête-à-tête on page 56.  Both are attributed to W. T. Mersereau & Co. who had a factory in Newark, NJ and a retail store in New York.  We are not sure who manufactured this particular chair.

I’m thinking that this chair was manufactured closer to 1900 than the 1880s.  The crest and the feet suggest this to me.  They remind me of motifs seen in Oak furniture occurring at the turn of the century. However, I think that someone with an Aesthetic brass collection could easily make this piece fit alongside the rest of their items.

This particular brass chair is available for sale for anyone interested.  More photos below.

Brass chair

Brass chair

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

chris kennedy March 8, 2011 at 11:39 am

Nice chair and yes brass seating is somewhat unusual until the 1930s and then the somewhat proliferation in the fifties/sixties. The wonders of technological advances.
I think this chair is even later than 1900. I would peg it as French, early Art Moderne, ca. 1918 to 1926. The sweeping lines of the frame, moderne floral motif and technically advanced form all speak to post WWI French production. Early Art Moderne was a blend of emerging modern fused with traditional historicism that hall mark this era of early modern. Great chair, I can’t recall ever seeing one in person.


John Hutchinson March 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Very cool! Never seen anything like it. Very well maintained. Not my style but great combo of form and function.
John, RVR


Ulysses Dietz March 15, 2011 at 10:06 am

I too see something “moderne” about it, but after staring at it for a while, I’m pretty sure it is 1900-1910, and American. Those front legs are “colonial” (i.e. Empire) in the Karpen mode, and frankly, I don’t think the French ever made stuff quite this, uh, weird. I think the sweeping lines were the result of the manufacturer having fun with the material, and inadvertently prefiguring something that would happen again twenty years later. The back legs and the Renaissance grillwork are firmly tied to American beaux-arts taste from the early 1900s. Could this have been made for a sun-filled loggia in a big country house, or a glassed in conservatory in a city house? The mind reels.

I could be wrong, but it’s the kind of chair that is so mixed in its metaphors that it is a puzzle.


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