Miss Mary Custis Lee, the great-great granddaughter of Martha Washington, presented this pedestal-back side chair to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in 1916. She stated that it was originally owned by Mrs. Washington, but this history is the subject of ongoing research.


Pedestal-back side chair with serpentine crest rail, pierced and carved strapwork splat, trapezoidal slip seat frame beaded on its upper edge, and square, tapered front legs joined by H-mounted stretchers and a rear stretcher mounted higher between the rear legs. Elongated S-shaped splat pierced with five ribs or straps. The central rib, pierced with opposing teardrops at top and base, supports a carved anthemion or shell with a pendant bellflower above and is flanked by carved swags of bellflowers or husks suspended from rings on the outer ribs. Flat-faced crest rail and stiles with a bead-molded outside edges and rounded backs. Raked-back rear legs chamfered on the inside corners. Corner blocks are modern replacements.

Slip seat upholstered in a quilted, natural-colored cotton printed in red with sprigs of flowers and rural vignettes.





Mahogany (primary), cherry (front legs) white pine (corner blocks)


Overall (H x W x D): 37 3/4 in. x 21 3/4 in. x 19 5/16 in. (95.89 cm x 55.25 cm x 49.05 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mary Custis Lee, 1916


Inscribed on the inside of the rear seat rail, near center: "x".

Inscribed on the underside of the rear rail of the slip seat frame: "X".

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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