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  NEW HAMPSHIRE SETTEE, FOUND IN THE PUBLIC LIBRARY IN THE TOWN OF DOVER, CA 1800
Dimensions (inches): 82.5" w x 37" h x 20.5" d
Description:
This marvelous, country windsor settee was found in the basement of the public library in Dover, New Hampshire. There it had quite evidently been since the building was built, around the year 1800. The crest rail has a bold step-down profile, accentuated by the high-curving, angel-wing returns at either end. The form is further enhanced by the somewhat exaggerated overhang of the wide, shaped seat, which is perched on turned, bamboo legs and stretchers. But perhaps the best feature is carved shield in the center spindle, placed just below the midpoint. The combination of these elements take what might otherwise be another common interpretation of a formal, urban bench, and elevate it to the stature of high country folk art. All of this could be forgotten, however, if the settee were refinished. But it was not. The thin layer of early, Spanish brown paint, dating to the first quarter of the 19th century, is extra dry, with excellent craquelure, and is practically as exceptional as the form it compliments.

Condition: Iron "L" brackets had been added to the underside of the seat at some point in its past. These were removed and the joints were re-glued. There is a very early pieced replacement on the left side of the crest, along the top edge, about 12" in length by a fraction of an inch tall. Practically invisible, it must have been done in the early part of the 19th century, possibly by the original maker, old enough that it retains the same great surface. There are structural cracks in the crest rail on either side of the center. These are neither offensive nor unsound. The bench is sittable and sturdy.
   
Primary Color: brown
Earliest Date: 1800
Latest Date: 1815
For Sale Status: Available
Price 25,000
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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