Manhattan Restorations- The Preservation of Fine Antiques

Seven Piece Belter Fountain Elms Suite

Description: Museum quality seven piece Fountain Elms parlor suite by John Henry Belter, NYC. It consists of a settee, two armchairs and four side chairs. Examples of this pattern can be found on page 77 of "Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute" by Anna Tobin D'Ambrosio, pg 62 of "The Furniture of John Henry Belter and the Rococo Revival" by Marvin D. Schwartz and pg 81 of "American Furniture of the 19th Century 1840-1880" by Eileen and Richard Dubrow. The Fountain Elms pattern is one of the most popular patterns made by Belter. It has delicate open carvings of flowers, fruit, grapes, and leaves executed on a curved laminated rosewood frame. There are some slight losses in the frames that we document in five attached photos. They consist of one early repaired back leg to a sidechair, some tiny separations in the delicate carvings, and two tiny flower centers are missing. These are very minor issues that we could easily take care of, however, we want to offer this suite as "untouched" as possible. The upholstery is old but not original. This suite was originally purchased by Samuel and Sofia Catherine Littlewood Milbank of 24th St, New York. It was passed down to Priscilla Foote Dickenson to the present owner. We have the original correspondence from Joseph Downs, Alice Winchester, and many others as well as drafts, research notes and a photocopy of an article published in the Christian Science Monitor, August 19, 1933 by Caroline Cauldwell Foote regarding the life and work of Belter. The settee and an armchair from this suite was exhibited in the "Loan Exhibition of New York State Furniture" Metropolitan Museum of Art, February 5 - April 22, 1934. In the "Magazine Antiques" September, 1948, pg 166 -168 Joseph Downs suggested that "perhaps the most valuable collection of Belter furniture now in existence is owned by Mrs. Edward M. Foote." While this might be overstated, we are sure it is the best and most complete Belter suite to come on the market in quite some time! The condition of the wood and original finish are about as good as one could expect from a suite that is 150 years old. A truly rare and exciting grouping of furniture!

Circa: 1850-1860
Dimensions (settee): 47.5"H x 77.5"L
Dimensions (armchairs): 44.5"H x 24.5"W
Dimensions (sidechairs): 38"H x 18"W
Finish: Good original
Price: $225,500.00 for the suite

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