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    Description

    Historic Chair Attributed to the Robert E. Lee Family, Given by Mary Custis Lee to Salena Gray, Her Devoted Slave. Provenance suggests that Mrs. Lee gave this chair as well as other items, to her devoted slave Salena Gray. These pieces remained in the Gray family until one of Salena's granddaughters presented it to Mrs. John A. Fowle of Boston, Massachusetts. Mrs. Fowle had taken an interest in the slave children of Arlington and actually took at least two to be educated in the North. One of Salena Gray's granddaughters gave Mrs. Fowle the chair along with a silver service. The chair is accompanied by a photocopy of a letter dated April 12, 1912 from the granddaughter in which she writes, in part: "...Mama says when Miss Mary Lee, Gen Lee's daughter left Ravensworth Va. Another old home of the Lee's which they still own, Miss Mary gave Grandmother Gray some of her personal things and the chair I sent you was one the things given her, so we can only say it is one of the Lee chairs...". The chair is accompanied by scores of pages of documentation and genealogical material which will facilitate further research into this historic chair. When Mrs. Fowle returned the silver to Miss Mary Lee, a newspaper article dated 1913 covered the event. Included were pictures of the silver posed on what appears to be the chair currently offered. A photocopy of the article is included in the research material.

    The chair itself is a Hitchcock-type side chair, circa 1840, measuring 34.5" tall, and approximately 19" at its widest point. It is hand painted and the top and mid rails are decorated with gilt bronze and muted gold floral stencil. Gold accents appear on the stretchers, legs and border around the wicker seat. A rather unique diamond shape adorns the front stretcher. The wicker has likely been replaced at some point in the chair's history. There's a crack on the seat above the left front leg, but otherwise the chair is in excellent condition. An historic chair lending itself well to more research.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    12th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,067

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