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Side chair

1977.201.1 (RS32509)

Description

Side chair. Mahogany, black walnut, birch; white pine secondary wood. Serpentine crest rail has rounded ears with semicircular nubs. Splat features Gothic tracery. Beaded seat rails. Tapered stiles terminate in raked rear legs that rest on club feet. Front Cabriole front legs terminate in claw and ball feet. Original upholstered slip seat remains.

Details

Label
Cherished Possessions: Typically, eighteenth-century homes among the well-to-do were abundantly furnished with chairs, reflecting an ongoing commitment to entertaining. Jonathan Sayward purchased three sets of six chairs each, probably in the 1760s. Two sets were mahogany, upholstered in wool damask and used in the parlor; the third was walnut, apparently originally upholstered in leather and used in the sitting room. This chair, along with most of the two mahogany sets, retains its original upholstery, a testament to the frugal nature of Sayward's descendants.
Incredibly, much of Jonathan Sayward's furniture survives, often in its original condition. Apparently Sayward furnished his home in two phases, the first in the 1740s when he purchased a number of walnut pieces, and the second during renovations in the late 1750s and early 1760s when he purchased more expensive mahogany furnishings. Sayward's urge to upgrade his furnishings to better reflect his own growing wealth and position is a desire that still holds today and then, as now, fueled an important luxury market. Sayward purchased three sets of six chairs each made in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1760s. Two of the sets were of mahogany, upholstered in wool damask and used in the parlor; the third set was walnut, apparently originally upholstered in leather and used in the sitting room. Typically, eighteenth-century homes among the well-to-do were abundantly furnished with chairs, reflecting, one assumes, an ongoing commitment to entertaining. Remarkably, most of Sayward's mahogany chairs, including the one pictured, retain their original upholstery, a testament to the frugal nature of Sayward's descendants.
Maker
unknown
Date
1760-1775
Inscriptions
""I"" on slip seat frame.
Associated Building
Original to Sayward-Wheeler House (York Harbor, Me.).
Material
mahogany (wood)
pine (wood)
Object type
Furniture; Seating Furniture
Places
Maine (United States)
Probably New Hampshire (United States)
Probably Portsmouth (Rockingham county, New Hampshire)
York county (Maine) [county]
Descriptive terms
Chair
Chair, Side
Chippendale
mahogany (wood)
pine (wood)
side chairs
Dimensions
37 7/8 x 23 3/16 x 17 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1977.201.1
Credit Line
Gift of Elizabeth Cheever Wheeler
GUSN
3844

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