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Important Chippendale mahogany wing chair flies to $183,000

A Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany easy chair, ca.1755, didn't disappoint when it sold for$183,000 during Pook & Pook's first gallery auction of 2019.

By Kaitlyn Julian

Bidders contest for Chippendale mahogany chair 

Chippendale mahogany easy wing chair

Important Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany easy wing chair, circa 1755, $183,000. All images courtesy of Pook & Pook, Inc.

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. – Downingtown auction house Pook & Pook's first sale of 2019, held Jan. 11-12, was a success. 

The most anticipated lot of the sale was the important Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany ball and claw foot easy chair. Dating to circa 1755, the chair exhibits flaring rear cabriole legs and pronounced pad feet. With an estimate of $100,000-$150,000, it generated a buzz in the weeks preceding the sale. It was the first item to greet guests in Pook’s main auction gallery.

Completely stripped of its upholstery, the chair demonstrates the diversity of furniture forms found in Colonial era Philadelphia. Due in part to the city’s influx of immigrants from across the Atlantic. This chair is an important addition to the existing catalog of Philadelphia’s mid-eighteenth century furniture. It helps tell a richer story of the inventiveness of Colonial era craftsmen. After a tense bidding volley, a local dealer bidding on behalf of a client ultimately won the Chippendale chair for $183,000.

Other fine furniture

 Chester County, Pennsylvaniawalnut spice chest, circa 1755, provenance: Titus Geesey, $67,100

Chester County, Pennsylvaniawalnut spice chest, circa 1755, provenance: Titus Geesey, $67,100

In the fine furniture category, auctioneer James Pook noted the first lot hadn’t been on the market in close to a century. With that, bidders were off to the races and a Chester County, Pennsylvania walnut spice chest with line and berry inlay and turned bun feet, circa 1755, was hammered down for $67,100. The Connecticut Pilgrim Century sunflower chest, from the collection of Bruce & Edie Smart incited competition as well. It sold for $24,400. The chest was underbid by an adolescent boy in the front row who was bidding on behalf of his father. Although the boy wasn’t successful on the chest, he did place a winning bid on other treasures in the sale. Also from the Smart Collection: a Massachusetts Chippendale mahogany block front chest of drawers, circa 1760, sold for $10,980. A Connecticut Chippendale cherry tea table, ca. 1775, with an old warm finish, achieved $9,760.

Boston Federal mahogany shelf clock

Boston Federal mahogany shelf clock, circa 1810, $13,420

Auction results by the numbers

The 750-lot sale achieved a total of $1.77 million (including buyer’s premium) with a 95 percent sell through rate. In addition to bidding in the gallery, online bidding was available through The sale saw a total of 1,172 online users approved and bidding on 97 percent of the lots offered. Pook & Pook received a total of 481 requests for phone bids over the two day sale. Absentee bids numbered 451. Pook & Pook’s next in-house auction will be on Friday, March 15 with the Furnishing and Decorative Items of a Prominent Collector. Pook & Pook is located at 463 E. Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated websites.

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