Just weeks before his second term as President ended in March 1797, Washington purchased "2 doz chairs & 2 sideboards" from Philadelphia cabinetmaker John Aitken. Washington shipped the stylish furniture to Mount Vernon, where it graced his newest and most public room, the two-story dining room. This well-proportioned side chair, one of the twenty-four from Aitken, superbly complements the grand space, which Washington lavishly adorned with neoclassical architectural motifs. The chair's delicately carved, elliptic-cornered square back with urn splat derives from designs by the English furniture designer Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806), while its square, tapered front legs also appear on chairs made by his contemporary, George Hepplewhite (1727-1786). Brass tacks in a swag pattern punctuate the seat's tight curves and highlight its sumptuous green silk damask cover.


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 rail, and line-inlaid, square, tapered front legs joined by H-mounted stretchers. Canted bead-molded stiles with chamfered back edges and rear heels shaved on outside.






Mahogany, light wood inlay (primary), secondary not currently visible


Overall (H x W x D): 37 1/4 in. x 19 in. x 20 1/2 in. (94.62 cm x 48.26 cm x 52.07 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Harold Kersten, 1961

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.
Buy Tickets What to Do Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save