Designer Lockwood de Forest American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 743

As a purveyor of Indian goods, de Forest copied this design from a silver chair he had seen and admired in Jodhpur. He then asked the mistri (a subcaste of skilled craftsmen in India) to translate his drawing into a chased brass side chair. This particular chair was fully constructed from teakwood and then covered with brass ornamented with floral designs in repoussé, a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design in relief. This chair epitomizes de Forest’s role not only as a tastemaker and designer who was directly involved with the work of the craftsmen, but that of an ardent patron of the traditional methods of production employed by the mistri.

Chair, Lockwood de Forest (American, New York 1850–1932 Santa Barbara, California), Brass over teak, Indian (American market)

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