This side chair is one of several walnut chairs with a history of use in George Washington's presidential household in Philadelphia. Carved numerals in the front seat rail and front slip-seat rail identify the chair as part of a set. While the chair could have been used in several rooms in the executive mansion, its current crimson silk damask upholstery reflects that which was used in the state dining room. There were approximately three-dozen dining chairs in the room to accommodate the large parties of thirty or more guests who often ate with the president.


Walnut side chair with a serpentine crest rail depressed at center and terminating in flared ears, a solid vasiform splat seated in the shoe, raked-back stiles with flat faces and rounded backs, and a trapezoidal slip-seat frame with rounded top edges and flat-arched horizontal shaping to the rails; "IIII" chiseled on rabbet of front seat rail; "MPT" written in graphite on the inside of the rear seat rail; crest rail and stiles with single bead along outside edge; stiles tenoned into crest rail and secured with a single peg; front and side seat rails tenoned into legs and double pegged on each side; slightly rounded front corner blocks composed of two pieces of cedar with vertical grain; slightly rounded rear corner blocks of a single piece of cedar with vertical grain; double pegged through tenons on the back stiles; front cabriole legs with rounded knees, ogee knee brackets secured with roseheaded nails, and trifid feet with three raised tongues; rounded back posts.





Walnut (primary), white cedar (glue blocks), yellow pine (slip seat)


Overall: 38 1/2 in. x 21 3/4 in. x 20 1/4 in. (97.79 cm x 55.25 cm x 51.44 cm)

Credit Line

Gift: Jess and Grace Pavey Fund, 2003


Four chisel marks on front seat rail rabbet: "IIII".

On front rail of slip seat frame, incised initials "MC" above four chisel marks "IIII".

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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