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Samuel McIntire (1757 - 1811)

Lot 110: Rare Federal Carved and Figured Mahogany Veneer Chamber Table, the carving attributed to Samuel

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October 24, 1999
Bolton, MA, US

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Description

McIntire, Salem, Massachusetts, c 1793-1806, mahogany veneer on white pine, serpentine front and sides, ovolo front corners with turned discs over two long drawers, the lower having a central arched blind tambour flanked by delicate carved grape clusters and leaves on a punchwork decorated ground above ringturned reeded and tapering legs ending in turned feet; the brass appears original, old refinish, (minor imperfections), ht 35, wd 36 5/8, dp 18 1/8 in. McIntire, Salem, Massachusetts, c 1793-1806, mahogany veneer on white pine, serpentine front and sides, ovolo front corners with turned discs over two long drawers, the lower having a central arched blind tambour flanked by delicate carved grape clusters and leaves on a punchwork decorated ground above ringturned reeded and tapering legs ending in turned feet; the brass appears original, old refinish, (minor imperfections), ht 35, wd 36 5/8, dp 18 1/8 in Although this form of furniture is most often called a small sideboard or serving table, early 19th century price books identify it as a chamber table It was used as a woman's dressing table Samuel McIntire (1757-1811) was the most prominent craftsman working in Salem in the Federal period He was an architect and carver of extraordinary ability His work was in great demand His working career (17801811) coincided with Salem's era of greatest prosperity McIntire served as the architect for Salem's wealthy sea captains and merchants He provided elegant houses for them on Essex Street, Federal Street, and Washington Square, carved their interior woodwork and furniture, and decorated their ships (Ward, Gerald WR, "Samuel McIntire" in Banham, J ENCYCLOPEDIA OF INTERIOR DESIGN, Vol 2, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1997, pp 755-56) According to his biographer, Fiskc Kimball, in his middle period (1793-1806) McIntire shifted to an elegant, refined, Adamsesque mode using carved motifs now identified with his work, - cornucopia, baskets of fruit and clusters of grapes McIntire's two highlights of this period were created for Elias Hasket Derby (1739-1799), Salem's greatest shipping merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth Crowninshield Derby (1736-1799): a magnificent mansion said to be the most ambitious house constructed in 18th century America and an elaborately carved mahogany chest-on-chest c 1796, now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Hipkiss, Edwin J, EIGHTEENTH CENTURY AMERICAN ARTS, THE M AND M KAROLIK COLLECTION, Harvard University Press, 1941, plate 41, pp 74-75) Lot 110 is nearly identical to the chamber table which is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in the bedchamber preserved from Oak Hill, the home of Elizabeth Derby West (1762-1814), eldest daughter of Elias Hasket Derby, ibid (plate 49, pp 90-91) Oak Hill built in 1800-01, is thought to be the work of McIntire Provenance: This piece was purchased by a Boston collector and has remained in the same family.

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