When the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association acquired this chair in 1880, they believed it had originally been owned by George Washington. In fact, its form and ornament are characteristic of neoclassical chairs produced by New York cabinetmakers at the end of the eighteenth century. Given its date and probable place of manufacture, it is unlikely that the chair belonged to him.


Vase- or shield-back side chair with a bowed- or elliptic-front seat upholstered over the rails on square, tapered front legs with outflaring feet and beaded outside edges. Carved and pierced splat with three ribs features five plumes (Prince of Wales design) above two fringed drapery swags suspended through spirals; lunette in pointed bottom carved with a two-tiered flower with nine pointed petals. Crest rail and stiles molded with beaded edges on front and rounded at back. Square, tapered, raked-back rear legs. Two medial braces nearly as deep as the rails are dovetailed from below.

Upholstered over the rail in black, striped haircloth. A double row of decorative brass tacks outlines the lower edge of the seat.





Mahogany (primary), possibly maple or birch (seat rails), probably cherry (medial braces), pine (corner blocks)


Overall (H x W x D): 38 in. x 20 7/8 in. x 18 in. (96.52 cm x 53.02 cm x 45.72 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of W. W. Corcoran, 1880

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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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