THOMAS MOLESWORTH (1890 - 1977)
Rare armchair, Cody, WY, 1932-33; Stained burlwood, patinated brass, leather; Unmarked; 36 1/2" x 32" x 41"; Provenance: Private California Collection; Authenticated by Terry Winchell
Sale Price: $37,500
Estimate: $27,500 - $32,500
Cushions re-stuffed and re-upholstered with vintage leather. Likely original finish to base. Moderate darkened scuffs, scratches, and areas of finish loss. Moderate to heavy wear to finish on arms. No breaks or repairs. Slightly loose joinery.
This grouping of Thomas Molesworth Furniture dates to 1932-1933 and may pre-date Moses Annenberg’s Ranch A commission in 1933.
The extensive use of burl as well as the inlaid leather top were early design features that were discontinued by Molesworth by 1935. The sofa table has an unadorned skirt which would have been decorated or eliminated later in his career. The application of the burl elements on the chair frame is also indicative of an early date of manufacture. These early designs, although somewhat primitive, were most likely fabricated by Molesworth’s own hand. There is a very similar set located at Pahaska Tepee which was Buffalo Bill Cody’s original Hunting Lodge, near Yellowstone National Park, as well as a set of furniture made for Simon Snyder in Valley, Wyoming.
It is significant to note that these early designs are examples of the beginnings of the commercial success of Shoshone Furniture Company.
- Terry Winchell, author of Molesworth: The Pioneer of Western Design