The Washingtons may have acquired this chair in the years following the Revolutionary War. While its shield-back and serpentine-front seat were inspired by the designs of George Hepplewhite, a British cabinetmaker, the distinctive pattern of the pierced splat was an innovation of Maryland cabinetmakers.


Mahogany side chair with shield back and pierced splat; pierced splat consists of sharply pointed tear drop cut outs at the top and bottom center of the splat framed by two vertical straps on each side; the shaped stiles and crest rail are outlined with a simple bead on their inner and outer edge; the top of the crest rail and the PR stile were broken apart at one point and are now secured with glue and finishing nails; trapezoidal seat with serpentine front; two square, tapering legs at front and two rounded, raked back legs at rear, all connected with an H-stretcher; the medial stretcher is tenoned into the side stretchers; the rear stretcher has been cut off, as indicated by the filled mortises on the sides of the rear legs; corner braces of yellow pine glued into shallow gouges in each corner of the seat frame; upholstered over the rail in black haircloth with yellow stripes, secured with a line of round head tacks along the front and side rails; in some places along the back and sides, the tacks have been replaced with machine-cut nails; webbing and canvas sack visible on undercarriage of chair.






Mahogany (primary), yellow pine (corner braces)


Overall (H x W x D): 37 1/2 in. x 20 7/16 in. x 21 1/2 in. (95.25 cm x 51.91 cm x 54.61 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Eleanor Custis Boylin Nesbit, 1992

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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