In 1871, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association acquired this chair with the understanding that it had been owned or used by the Washingtons. While its ladder-back design resembles chairs made in America and England c. 1780-1800, the carved ornament on the crest rail and cross-slats, its robust dimensions, and lack of corner blocks are atypical, suggesting that it postdates George and Martha Washington's lifetimes.


Slat-back side chair with three serpentine pierced and carved cross-slats below a matching crest rail with circular, scroll-carved ears, trapezoidal slip seat frame with plain edges, and straight, square or Marlborough front legs joined by H-mounted stretchers and a rear stretcher mounted higher between the rear legs. The ornament on the crest and slats consists of a central oblong piercing with rounded ends above a shaped lower edge flanked by quatrefoil piercings and pairs of inscribed leaves. Crest rail and molded stiles with rounded backs, slats flat on both sides. Rear seat rail beaded along both top edges. Raked-back rear legs; all legs chamfered on the inside corners.

The H-stretchers appear to be replacements.

Other terms for this design include: ladder-back.

Trapezoidal slip-seat frame upholstered in coral-colored linen woven with a large-scale floral design.





Mahogany (primary), yellow pine (slip seat frame)


Overall (H x W x D): 38 in. x 22 in. x 21 1/2 in. (96.52 cm x 55.88 cm x 54.61 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Emily L. Harper, Vice Regent for Maryland, 1871


Inscribed on the inside of the rear seat rail at center: "I".

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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