Rosewood Upholstered Armchair
Designed by L. C. Tiffany (1848-1923)
Fabrication attributed to Herter Brothers (1865-1905), New York c. 1880
The unusually delicate and yet surprisingly comfortable armchair is featured in the frontispiece plate of Constance Cary Harrison’s Woman’s Handiwork in Modern Homes (considered one of the most significant books on design published in America during the Aesthetic era). The plate’s caption states that the room is “By Louis C. Tiffany.” Additionally, an 1883 photograph of the library at the George Kemp House – the first house decorated extensively by Tiffany and regarded by many as his most important early residential commission – also depicts a chair of this identical form.
The three impressed digits on the back leg of this chair are typical of markings on custom seating pieces made by Herter Brothers where they refer to the project number of the client commission. That marking, along with the distinctive India Comb Rubber casters on this chair, suggest that they fabricated this piece.