Thanks to Steve Smith of the Worcestershire Museum at Hartlebury, and the chair's owner Mr Byron Teague, we now have this examples, a spindleback armchair in Philip's four-spindle style, but with the legs, arms and arm supports of his famous ladderback. To be specific, it has the finials, arm support turnings, wider flatter arms, and plain front feet typical of the ladderback. Like the ladderback, the front mortices of the arms are pinned from the inside.
Unfortunately, the chair is not stamped with Philip's initials, so how can we be certain that he made it? We do need to be very cautious (see below).
The first bit of evidence is the provenance. Nothing on paper, but the chair has descended through the owner's family, and was reputedly bought from Clissett in about 1880. The owner's ancestor is known to have lived very close to Bosbury.
Secondly, thanks to careful examination by Steve, and a stack of photographs taken by him, I can confirm that the chair bears Clissett's typical workshop marks.
It seems reasonable, based on this evidence, to accept this hybrid as almost certainly made by Philip Clissett. This mixing of styles is previously unknown, and we should be alert for other possibilities - such as this next chair...
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to track this chair down. I know it was sold in late 2008 at Ludlow Antiques Market. (I'm grateful to Brightwells Auctioneers of Leominster for allowing me to use the photograph, and to Stella Oakes for information about its sale.) If anyone knows of the whereabouts of this chair, please let me know.
Attributing unstamped chairs to Philip Clissett is not a very safe business. Recently, I examined a set of side chairs that looked exactly like Philip's more upmarket model. But the workshop scribe marks were made using a different system, and simply did not look like Clissett's work. It's possible, though, that they were still Clissett-family chairs but, without a maker's mark, we have no way of attributing them. I've seen quite a few unmarked chairs that looked like Philip's, and they've never had the right workshop marks. So the safest rule is, if it's not got Philip Clissett's initials (or pretty good provenance) then it could well be by another maker.