Dining chair with significant MOUNT VERNON history and GEORGE WASHINGTON family provenance acquired from the estate of fourth Chief Justice of the United States SUPREME COURT, JOHN MARSHALL (1755 - 1835). Marshall was a close friend and biographer of George Washington, served in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was also Secretary of State under President John Adams.
Mahogany Chippendale ribbon-back slat-back side chair with three serpentine-top, pierced cross-slats below a matching crest rail, descended in the Marshall family.PROVENANCE:The John Marshall MOUNT VERNON chair is presumed to have been given by Washington to his close friend and biographer, John Marshall in payment for his assistance in settling the estate of Martha Washington’s niece, FANNY BASSETT (1767-1796), who married George Washington’s favorite nephew, GEORGE AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON (1759-1793). The couple lived at Mount Vernon until their untimely deaths, just three years apart. George Washington served as executor for the estate of his nephew who was named after the President’s father, Augustine Washington.Following the end of the Revolutionary War, George Washington was again free to direct his attention to his beloved Mount Vernon. The Marshall Mount Vernon chair may be one of the "two dozen strong, neat and plain but fashionable, Table chairs" Washington had acquired in the Fall of 1783, and is virtually identical to the "slat back side chair with three serpentine top, pierced cross-slats" in the Mount Vernon museum collection.Acquired at auction from the Estate of Charles Boyd Coleman, Esq., of Chattanooga, TN, the John Marshall MOUNT VERNON chair descended in the family of Lewis M. Coleman Jr. II (1894-1914), son of Lewis M. Coleman Jr., son of CSA Lt. Colonel Lewis Minor Coleman (1827-1863) and Mary Ambler Marshall, daughter of James K. Marshall and granddaughter of fourth U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835), a friend, attorney and biographer of George Washington.The Marshall MOUNT VERNON chair is believed to be the same one also referenced in a 1950s inventory list compiled by Charles Boyd Coleman of Chattanooga, TN, in response to a request issued to the descendants of John Marshall regarding a complete compilation of Marshall's papers, books, pictures, etc. in celebration of the JOHN MARSHALL BICENTENNIAL YEAR, at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA on Saturday, September 25, 1954. In this brief inventory, Coleman mentions"one chair which we also understand was among items given for settling Washington estate."More importantly, the Marshall MOUNT VERNON chair appears again in correspondence dated 1984 from Coleman to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union, and is again referred to as the"dining room chair from Mount Vernon".Sale includes COPIES of original documents (still retained by the Coleman family).MOUNT VERNON MUSEUM REVIEW & PROVENANCE:Following its purchase at auction, and at the request of the current owners, SIGNATURIST-INK, the Marshall chair has been studied by MOUNT VERNON Museum Associate Curator, Adam Erby. Once a vibrant plantation in the 18th century, Mount Vernon, the beloved home of the nation's first President is now one of the country's most visited museums and historic sites.
According to Mount Vernon Associate Curator Erby, Washington's nephew BUSHROD WASHINGTON spent a great deal of time in Philadelphia, and in fact, he was George Washington’s agent when he purchased the 24 Mount Vernon dining chairs in 1783.
Erby says, "Bushrod inherited Mount Vernon from George Washington, and it is quite possible that he used the chairs at Mount Vernon. He also served on the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Marshall, so there is a strong connection there. I think Marshall could have gotten the chair from Bushrod."
The identical chair in the Mount Vernon collection, which descended in the family of Martha Washington's granddaughter, Martha Custis Peter, has a slightly different apron configuration than the Marshall chair, which was most likely redone at some later date to suit the style and taste of the times. Both chairs retain the identical construction, and are comprised of the same Mahogany (primary), yellow pine and cedar (secondary woods). Both the Marshall and Custis Mount Vernon chairs feature straight Marlborough front legs joined with an H-stretcher in the center and raked-back rear legs also joined by a stretcher.The Marshall chair still retains much of the characteristic original 18th century materials including muslin, horsehair, burlap, and forged nail construction, as shown.CONDITION:The John Marshall MOUNT VERNON chair is in UNRESTORED CONDITION, is structurally sound with natural overall wear commensurate with age (appx. 235+ years old). Front feet have been tipped approximately 1 1/2".>>> NOTE: TEARS TO FABRIC UPHOLSTERY TO FACILITATE MOUNT VERNON MUSEUM REVIEW AND AUTHENTICATION, as shown in selected photos. <<<Museum quality artifacts from the life and historic MOUNT VERNON estate of our nation's first President and Founding Father, GEORGE WASHINGTON, are exceedingly scarce, and seldom available on the open market. Don't miss this rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an original investment-quality heirloom antique from the estate of one of our country's most revered icons and legendary leaders.Sold as is, in found condition.
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