With our absolute highest compliments Bay Colony Antiques takes the utmost pleasure in offering for sale a pair of antique side chairs worthy of any historical collection of fine American furniture. Any serious collector of important early American antiques knows all too well how difficult it can be to trace an objects history back to their origin and how quite often the best any scholar can do is apply an attribution when certainty is beyond reach. The next owners of these incredible side chairs will have no such issue as remarkably both are clearly signed by the original chairmaker. On the underside of each chair the punch carved signature "S. Ely" is clearly denoted. Smith Ely was an American chairmaker active in New York City circa 1823 - 1837 with a shop located at Broad Street and New Street. Chairs bearing the signature of "S. Ely" have appeared in the American antiques market, in public institutions, and have been the subject of various scholarly writings throughout the last several decades. We believe that these are a pair of investment grade antiques being offered with the reasonable assumption that they will appreciate considerably in value as the years go by. Perhaps one in one hundred antique chairs are signed by their maker and of the ones that are most are the works of makers largely obscured by the passing of time. At present these chairs are only being marketed for what you would expect to find any pair of highly figured bird's eye or tiger maple chairs in any antique store across the country.
Each chair is constructed of the highest grade of figured bird's eye maple and feature contoured crest rails and back splats which provide the sitter with a higher degree of comfort as compared to an ordinary chair made in the early part of the 19th century. The chairs have rolled crests, a sophisticated Grecian urn formed back splat and a firm caned seat. The turned legs are strengthened by double stretcher supports and a curved front stretcher rail. The seats are rolled to provide comfort at the back of the sitters knees and the chairs terminate on wonderful ball feet turned in the Sheraton manner. These chairs are sturdy and perfectly suited for everyday use despite being over two centuries old.