Label

Gothic style chairs enjoyed great popularity in Philadelphia in the second half of the eighteenth century. On this example, the unidentified maker enlivened the otherwise common design with the subtle addition of a curling tassel at the center of the splat. The chair descended in the family of Philadelphian Samuel Hill (b. 1731).

Description

Side chair with a foliate-carved, scalloped crest rail and circular, foliate-carved ears, an interlaced Gothic strapwork splat seated within a beaded shoe, a trapezoidal seat frame with rounded top edges and flat-arched rails, and cabriole front legs with ogee knee blocks and claw-and-ball feet. Pierced and carved splat with six ribs of interlaced Gothic tracery above a quatrefoil with a pointed top and two opposing leaf piercings; the C-scrolls that form the outer ribs end in small curls; an asymmetric pendant tassel is carved at center of splat; a hollow bead outlines the inside edge of the quatrefoil and the outside edges of the outer ribs above the quatrefoil; a quarter-round bead outlines the inside edges of the top, central piercings. Crest rail rounded at back; raked-back, molded, rear stiles rounded at back with through tenons and circular legs and feet below the seat rail. Two-part, vertical-grain, quarter-round corner blocks at front and single piece, vertical-grain corner blocks at back.

Trapezoidal slip-seat frame upholstered in pale blue (now faded to white) silk damask with a central palm-tree pattern; underside covered with ethafoam.

Date

c. 1765


Geography


Material/Technique

Mahogany (primary), white cedar (proper right rear corner block), possibly white pine (proper left corner blocks, proper right front corner block)


Dimensions

Overall (H x W x D): 39 1/8 in. x 23 1/4 in. x 21 1/2 in. (99.39 cm x 59.06 cm x 54.61 cm)


Credit Line

Bequest of Harriet Lane Worral Mershon, 1959


Marks

Inscribed in the rabbet of the front seat rail: "VI".


Object Number

M-2244/B


Colors (Beta)


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