During the time Washington spent in Philadelphia before and after the Revolution and during the Presidency, he came to appreciate the quality, style, and affordable price of the furnishings produced by its artisans. Pierced "slat-back" chairs were among the most popular offerings of Philadelphia cabinetmakers in the late eighteenth century. Washington may have purchased chairs such as this one to serve as plain but fashionable seating throughout the less formal rooms at Mount Vernon.


Slat-back side chair with three serpentine-top, pierced cross-slats below a matching crest rail, serpentine-front seat frame beaded along its top edge, and molded, tapering square front legs beaded on their outside corners joined by H-mounted stretchers and a rear stretcher mounted higher between the rear legs. Crest and slats with a central pierced ellipse-with-leaves motif flanked by leaf piercings, those on the crest rail pointing downward and those on the slats pointing upward. Molded crest rail and stiles with rounded backs; slats flat on both sides. Seat rails secured with a single peg at the front and rear corners of the side rails. Raked-back rear legs; all legs chamfered on the inside corners. Corner blocks appear to be modern replacements.

Other terms for this design include: ladder-back.

Trapezoidal slip-seat frame upholstered in green haircloth; a black synthetic spun-bonded textile covers the bottom of the slip-seat.





Mahogany (primary)


Overall (H x W x D): 37 5/8 in. x 20 3/4 in. x 20 1/4 in. (95.58 cm x 52.71 cm x 51.44 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1926


Chiseled on the inside of the front and back seat rail: "IIIIV".
Written in white chalk on the proper right seat rail "W. NO. 8."
Written in ink on a piece of masking tape on the reverse of the proper left front corner block: "F".

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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