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Side Chair

Decorative Arts

MEDIUM Walnut, modern upholstery
DATES Patented March 30, 1869
DIMENSIONS 28 1/4 x 20 3/4 x 23 in. (71.8 x 52.7 x 58.4 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS impressed inside bottom proper right rear leg: "HUNZINGER N.Y. / PAT. MARCH 30 / 1869"
SIGNATURE no signature
INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
CREDIT LINE Gift of Isabel Shults, by exchange
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Walnut with incised orange painted decoration. A square seat with rolled back end upholstered in light blue silk damask (modern) trimmed with red, blue and beige silk and wool twisted cord (modern). Back consists of an upholstered roll with three buttons on top and four buttons on front, in the same damask and the same cord at ends. The roll supported on either end by a turned counter-clockwise scroll design with carved leaves in the interstices that terminate a diagonal member that is attached to side of seat frame and continues towards the front foot. Lower end of this diagonal terminates in an acorn whose narrow stem supports a rectangular section with three broad parallel-incised lines on front and side profiles. A turned ring and shaft above support a cube-block with applied turned buttons on top and side faces and then another acorn-like shape at seat height. Above this is another narrow cylindrical shaft with parallel-incised lines that is transposed to a flattened section that forms the scroll that supports the upholstered roll. Below the seat this diagonal member is attached to an arched member that intersects a larger arched member that supports the front corner of the seat from below and curves towards the back of the chair to form the rear foot terminating in a partially articulated scroll. The smaller arched member to which the diagonal member is attached curves downward and becomes the front square foot pad. A turned and incised vertical member extends from under the arched member that supports the front seat to the intersecting smaller member that becomes the front foot. At the point that this vertical member meets the smaller arched member near the front foot is a turned and incised stretcher. An identical stretcher joins the back arched legs where another vertical arches up and terminates in a turned scroll that supports the back of the seat from below. There is an incised conventionalized floral decoration on the large attached member. CONDITION - Very good. Immediately prior to purchase, chair was restored by Vilmos Gruenbaum, 1401 Newkirk Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. The original brown stain was enlivened; the orange paint was applied to incised decoration perhaps at this time. Traces of the original gilding can be detected in the decorative incising below the modern organe paint. New corner seat blocks inserted and rear seat rail replaced. Front proper left square foot partially replaced. Small area of abrasion of dark stain on proper right diagonal member above juncture with seat. There is a drilled hole on underside of each of the front feet pads (perhaps for casters, but the seat sits parallel to the ground without casters). Fabric purchased from Silk Surplus, 1147 Madison Avenue, New York City and the cord from William N. Ginsberg Co., 242 West 38 Street, New York City. Chair upholstered by Otto Toth, Mahopac, New York.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION George Jacob Hunzinger (American, born Germany, 1835-1898). Side Chair, Patented March 30, 1869. Walnut, modern upholstery, 28 1/4 x 20 3/4 x 23 in. (71.8 x 52.7 x 58.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Isabel Shults, by exchange, 1989.74. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.1989.74.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.1989.74.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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George Jacob Hunzinger (American, born Germany, 1835-1898). <em>Side Chair</em>, Patented March 30, 1869. Walnut, modern upholstery, 28 1/4 x 20 3/4 x 23 in. (71.8 x 52.7 x 58.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Isabel Shults, by exchange, 1989.74. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.1989.74.jpg)