Following George Washington's election to the presidency in 1789, Congress moved quickly to procure and furnish a suitable dwelling for him in New York City, the nation's first capital. This stately side chair is one of sixty-eight supplied by Thomas Burling as part of a large quantity of "Mahogany Furniture" for the executive residence. Burling, a Quaker cabinetmaker who retailed New York and Philadelphia-made furniture in his Beekman Street "Ware Room," provided pieces in the newly-fashionable neoclassical or Federal taste, and in the older rococo or Chippendale patterns. This chair's styling - with cabriole legs, ball-and-claw feet, and a lively Gothic-style splat - remained popular for decades. Martha Washington approved of the resulting mix of furniture styles, and declared the President's house was "handsomely furnished all new for the General."


Side chair with an uncarved, scalloped crest rail and circular ears, an interlaced Gothic-style pierced splat with opposing C scrolls near top and a quatrefoil at base. Trapezoidal seat frame has flat-arched rails beaded along their tops, the front rail with an uncarved astragal drop at its center. Front cabriole legs have creased knees, ogee returns, and ball-and-claw feet. Rear raked-back stiles are triple-fluted on front and rounded at back with through tenons and circular legs and feet.






Mahogany, white cedar, yellow pine


Overall: 37 5/8 in. x 24 1/4 in. x 21 3/8 in. (95.57 cm x 61.6 cm x 54.29 cm)

Credit Line

Purchased by the Friends of the Collection, 1999

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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