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During the time Washington spent in Philadelphia before and after the Revolution and during the Presidency, he came to appreciate the quality, style, and affordable price of the furnishings produced by its artisans. Pierced "scroll'd splatt" chairs were among the most popular offerings of Philadelphia cabinetmakers in the late eighteenth century. Washington may have purchased chairs such as this one to serve as plain but fashionable seating throughout the less formal rooms at Mount Vernon.


Slat-back side chair with three pierced serpentine cross-slats looped at center below a matching crest rail with circular, sprigged ears, a trapezoidal seat frame beaded along its top edge, and straight, square or Marlborough front legs beaded on their outside corners joined by H-mounted stretchers and a rear stretcher mounted higher between the rear legs. Crest rail is beaded on the front on each end along its upper and lower edge, but not in the center, and rounded at back; raked-back stiles molded on the front and rounded at back; slats flat on both sides. Seat rails secured with a single peg on the front and rear of the side rails. Raked-back rear legs with double-pegged through tenons and square feet; all legs chamfered on the inside corner. Extensions have been added at the bottom of the front and back legs. Quarter-round corner blocks on the proper left side and the proper right front each composed of a single piece of wood with vertical grain; proper right rear corner block is a later replacement.

Other terms for this design include: pretzel-back, ladder-back, loop-back, ribbon-back.

Trapezoidal slip-seat frame upholstered in green haircloth; a black synthetic spun-bonded textile covers the bottom of the slip-seat.





Mahogany (primary), white cedar (corner blocks)


Overall (H x W x D): 37 1/4 in. x 20 3/16 in. x 19 9/16 in. (94.62 cm x 51.33 cm x 49.68 cm)

Credit Line

Mount Vernon Collection


Chiseled on the inside of the front seat rail: "XIII"
Chiseled on the slip-seat frame: "XV"

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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