"Neat & plain" style chairs formed the mainstay of many cabinetmakers' businesses in colonial Virginia. In contrast to elaborately carved high-style chairs, examples such as this provided more affordable, yet still fashionable, seating. This chair has a history of use in the Thornton family of Virginia and is believed to have been made by the Scottish cabinetmaker, Robert Walker. Roman numerals carved into the rear seat rail indicate that it was originally part of a set of a dozen chairs.


Walnut side chair with crest rail terminating in rounded ears, a pierced splat, trapezoidal slip-seat frame with rounded top edges, and Marlborough legs; backward curving, scrolled tablet top at center of crest rail; raked-back stiles with flat fronts and rounded backs are dovetailed into crest rail and pegged; pierced splat with interlaced strapwork above four vertical ribs; flat-arched horizontal shaped rear seat rail with integral shoe ornamented with quarter-round molding around the top edge; trapezoidal seat frame with straight-bottom side and front rails tenoned into legs and single pegged on all sides; vertical grain corner blocks, that in the proper left rear corner is missing; Marlborough front legs; stretchers tenoned into legs and single pegged on sides, back, and front, those at the back and the front placed slightly higher than those on the sides; chamfered inside corner on all legs; raked-back back posts with square feet.

Trapezoidal slip-seat frame upholstered in printed cotton with alternating stripes and columns of flowers; covered on the bottom with a black fabric.


1760 - 1775




Walnut, beech


Overall (H x W x D): 38 3/8 in. x 20 3/4 in. x 18 in. (97.47 cm x 52.71 cm x 45.72 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Dr. Augustine Thornton Scott, 1982


Chiseled on the inside of the rear seat rail: "N"

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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