In 1797, Philadelphia cabinetmaker John Aitken supplied two dozen elliptic-cornered square back side chairs to George Washington for use in his "New Room" at Mount Vernon. The design of this chair is remarkably similar to surviving Washington examples, suggesting that it may also be from Aitken's shop.


Square-back side chair having a bead-molded, elliptic-cornered crest rail with leaf-carved tablet at top center, a pierced and carved splat with drapery-swagged vase set between two slender colonettes with leaf-carved capitals and rosette-carved plinths, a serpentine-front seat with swelled sides upholstered over the rails, and line-inlaid, square, tapered front legs joined by H-mounted stretchers. Canted bead-molded stiles with chamfered back edges and rear legs with rear heels shaved on outside.

Upholstered over the rails in green silk damask with a brass-tacked swag pattern above a single line of brass tacks on all four sides of the seat.


c. 1795




Mahogany (primary)


Overall (H x W x D): 37 1/8 in. x 20 1/2 in. x 19 in. (94.3 cm x 52.07 cm x 48.26 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1999

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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