As the Revolutionary War drew to a close, George Washington was again free to direct his attention to his beloved Mount Vernon. This chair may be one of the "two dozen strong, neat and plain, but fashionable, Table chairs" that Washington sought to acquire in the fall of 1783 for his dining room. Chairs with pierced and arched slats were popular in Philadelphia in the late-eighteenth century and would likely have satisfied Washington's desire for tasteful economy. This chair descended in the family of Martha Washington's granddaughter, Martha Custis Peter, of Tudor Place in Georgetown.
Slat-back side chair with three serpentine-top, pierced cross-slats below a matching crest rail, trapezoidal seat frame beaded along its top edge, and straight, square or Marlborough 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 with a deeply chiseled line along the top edge of their fronts, flat on both sides. Rear seat rail with applied molding on top face. Raked-back rear legs with through tenons and square feet; all legs chamfered on the inside corners. Quarter-round, beveled-edge, vertical grain corner blocks in each corner of frame, those in the front composed of two pieces of wood.
Other terms for this design include: ladder-back.
Trapezoidal slip-seat frame upholstered in green cloth with small-scale woven chevron pattern; a black synthetic spun-bonded textile covers the bottom of the slip-seat.
1780 - 1800
Mahogany (primary), yellow pine, cedar (secondary)
Overall (H x W x D): 35 1/4 in. x 21 1/2 in. x 19 1/8 in. (89.54 cm x 54.61 cm x 48.59 cm)
Bequest of G. Freeland Peter Jr., 1991
Chiseled on front rabbet of front seat rail: "VIIII".
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