The elaborate carved ornament on this Chippendale chair resembles that of high-style British examples, but construction details reveal that it was made in Virginia by the Scottish immigrant cabinetmaker, Robert Walker. Walker produced furniture for some of the most influential families in the colony, and this chair may have belonged to Augustine Washington (1720-1762), George Washington's half-brother. In addition to providing elegant seating, the chair introduced visitors to the owner's wealth and sophisticated taste.
Walnut side chair with carved bow crest rail terminating in rounded ears, a pierced splat, cabriole front legs and compressed claw-and-ball feet; bow crest rail carved with a downward curving C-scroll along the top center edge, framed by shorter upward curving C-scrolls, and a central anthemion decoration at the lower center where it joins the splat; rounded ears that form the terminus of straps rising from the splat, each carved with an acanthus leaf and having a bead around its outer edge; pierced strapwork splat; raked-back stiles with flat fronts and rounded backs are dovetailed into crest rail and pegged; flat-arched horizontally -shaped rear seat rail with integral shoe ornamented with filleted quarter- round molding at the top; trapezoidal slip seat frame with horizontal shaping on the side rails and undercutting on base of front rail; rails tenoned into legs and back posts, secured with single pegs on the front, front side rails, and back rail, and with double pegs at the rear of the side rails; corner blocks consist of a large triangular wedge at the proper right front corner, two narrow quarter round blocks at the proper left front corner, and narrow quarter round blocks at the back corners; cabriole front legs with compressed claw-and-ball feet, ornamented with carved acanthus leaves that extend from the knee to halfway down the leg; knee blocks carved with acanthus ornament are glued on each side of the front legs, the knee block glued and nailed on the front by the proper left leg is original, the others are reproductions; reproduction gadrooned molding glued along the base of the front seat rail; raked-back rounded back posts with square feet.
Trapezoidal slip-seat frame with linen cover stuffed with hair, a cotton sack bottom and webbing. A yellow damask slip cover is placed over the slip seat.
Overall (H x W x D): 39 in. x 22 3/4 in. x 20 1/8 in. (99.06 cm x 57.79 cm x 51.12 cm)
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