Pair of Gothic-Revival Slipper Chairs, American, Probably New York, Possibly Thomas Brooks (1811-1887), c. 1845
The pierced Gothic arch with quatrefoils and milk-thistle finial forming the crest of the upholstered back flanked by milk-thistle finials topping the Gothic-paneled styles continuing down to an upholstered seat and dramatically shaped rear legs. The Gothic-paneled seat rails with quatrefoils above the turned and faceted front legs terminating in brass casters.
H: 46¼” W: 18″ D: 21″ each
Condition: Excellent: Refinished in shellac in the manner of the period. Modern upholstery. Original show coat available.
These beautiful pair of Gothic-Revival Slipper Chairs, probably designed for a bedroom, relate to a group of chairs attributed to Thomas Brooks, illustrated in Katherine S. Howe and David B. Warren’s The Gothic Revival Style in America, 1830-1870 (Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1976), 19-20, figs. 20-22. A closely related example, is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A related slipper chair and settee, attributed to Thomas Brooks, are illustrated in Nancy Carlisle’s Cherished Possessions: A New England Legacy (Boston: Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, 2003), 308-309.
The Gothic-Revival was an important element of Regency taste and part and parcel of the wide-spread fascination with ancient and exotic cultures, which influenced design in the late 18th and 19th century. Gothic style became very popular in the United States in the 1840’s and continued to be influential in American architecture until the outbreak of the Civil War.