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After visiting Mount Vernon in February 1799, Englishman Joshua Brookes observed that the Little Parlor contained "a grand piano on which she [Nelly Custis] plays, a sofa, [and] yellow bottom Windsor chairs." Brookes' reference to "yellow bottom Windsors" is believed to refer to the color of the cushions on the chairs, but it is possible he meant the chairs were painted yellow, one of the most popular finish choices for Windsors at the end of the eighteenth century. The whereabouts of the original chairs are unknown, but they may have been similar to this example, stamped and labeled by Philadelphia chairmaker Robert Gaw. More






Tulip poplar (seat), paint


Overall (H x W x D): 37 1/2 in. x 21 1/8 in. x 17 1/4 in. (95.25 cm x 53.66 cm x 43.82 cm)


Purchase, 1970


Stamped in block letters on the underside of the seat at center front: "R . GAW".

Printed on a paper label affixed to the underside of the seat at center: "All kinds of Windsor Chairs, / Made and sold,/By Robert T. Gaw,/ No. 280, Second Street and No. 88./ North Front Streets,/ Philadelphia" in a rectangular surround with a pendant paterae at top center, bellflower swags on the top and sides, and palm leaves forming the base.

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Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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