**Special Commission "Rising Sun Armchair", by Stephen D. Van Ormer circa 1987, parcel-gilt carved mahogany frame and leather upholstered seat; BH60 1/2" SH21" W30 1/2" D22"

Provenance: Special order from the cabinetmaker
Private collection

Literature: Accompanied by original newsprint THE SUNDAY NEWS, July 3, 1988 (Section E, pp.1-2) discussing Mr. Van Ormer's painstaking replication of the chair.

Together with the Special Issue of LIFE magazine, fall 1987 celebrating The Constitution.

Other Notes: The original "Rising Sun Armchair" was made in Philadelphia by cabinetmaker John Folwell in 1779; it was to be the Speaker's chair of the Pennsylvania legislature.

In May of 1787, the Pennsylvania legislature loaned their room to the men of the Constitutional Convention. The Speaker's chair was used by George Washington during the four-month session of the Convention, which framed The Constitution of the United States of America.
James Madison's notes of the debates make special mention of Benjamin Franklin's optimism over the outcome of the Convention:
". . . Doctor Franklin, looking towards the President's chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising sun from a setting sun. 'I have,' said he, 'often and often in the course of the Session . . . looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting: But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting Sun."

In 1987 the Capital Preservation and Legislative Bicentennial Committees of the Pennsylvania General Assembly commissioned Stephen D. VanOrmer to recreate the "Rising Sun Armchair" in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Constitutional Convention. The present owner of this chair commissioned Mr. Van Ormer to build two additional copies which were made in tandem for him and his brother. This is one of only three examples made by Mr. Van Ormer.

  • minor scuffs scratches and nicks consistent with age and use, overall good condition

    *** Notice to bidders: The absence of a condition report does not imply that an object is free of defects or restoration. Condition reports are prepared by request on a 'first come, first served' basis. For more information please read paragraph #9 of Terms and Condition of Sale.

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September 16, 2021 11:00 AM EDT
West Columbia, SC, US

Charlton Hall

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