Frame: 85.1 x 74.3 x 8.9cm (33 1/2 x 29 1/4 x 3 1/2")
Born New York City
Thomas Ash "succeeded to the long established and well known manufactory of Fancy and Windsor Chairs" at 33 John Street in New York City upon the death of his father, William, in 1815. The Ash proprietorship employed "a number of the very best and most tasteful workmen" and advertised its ability to make custom orders, in addition to selling its inventory of Windsor chairs, fancy ballback armchairs, and rush-bottomed settees with vertical spindles. Indicative of his out-of-state market, Ash shipped seventy-one "bundles" of chairs to Savannah, Georgia, in May 1815.
Ash also made frames for paintings, which may have provided the opportunity for this rare depiction of an early American artisan. It is one of the first works by the young Thomas Sully, who later became the preeminent American portrait painter of the Jacksonian era.
(Sumpter Priddy, III, Inc., Alexandria, Va.); purchased 2008 NPG