This back stool descended in the family of Martha Washington's granddaughter, Eliza Custis Law, who treasured it as "Martha Washington's sewing chair." Back stools, basically side chairs with upholstered backs and seats, provided a frame for the sumptuous display of expensive wool and silk fabrics and were typically placed in parlors, drawing rooms, halls, or bedchambers where they could be seen. Documentary evidence and the number of surviving examples suggest back stools were less often found in the households of the colonial elite than of their counterparts in England, and only a handful survive with a history of use in the Chesapeake. More

Date

1760-1800


Geography


Material/Technique

Mahogany (primary), oak (rear seat rail), unidentified softwood (corner braces)


Dimensions

Overall: 31 in. x 22 5/8 in. x 23 in. (78.74 cm x 57.47 cm x 58.42 cm)


Credit

Gift of Mrs. Van Santvoord Merle-Smith, Jr. and Mrs. Thomas Weaver, 1978


Object Number

W-2733


Colors


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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