On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Mahogany, red gum, ash secondary wood, modern horsehair upholstery, brass tacks
39 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 18 1/2 in. (99.69 x 53.97 x 46.99 cm) (show scale)
Matthew Scott Sloan Collection, Gift of Lidie Lane Sloan McBurney
Side Chair, mahogany, secondary woods red gum and ash, modern horsehair upholstery. Shield back with central oval enclosing Prince of Wales feathers above a decorative classical urn centered between two carved feathery stems terminating in volute-like roundels with pendant drapery swags. The drapery is carved naturally with pronounced fringe on the edges. The central plume folds forward and two side plumes fold over themselves, displaying the under sides. The plumes are naturalistically carved. The base of the shield back culminates with a leaf fan consisting of alternating large and small leaves. Stretchers connect the four legs in an "A" shape. Reeding is carved on the front and outer sides of the front legs. Modern horsehair upholstery stretches over the front and side seat rails, with brass tacks applied in a swag pattern consisting of four swags along the front rail and three swags along each side rail. One of a set of nine, possibly made at different times or locations, this chair has characteristic features found also on chairs 1997.150.9, 1997.150.12, and 1997.150.13.
CONDITION - Good. No bead molding on front feet. Rear legs are wider than others in set.
Side Chair, ca. 1800. Mahogany, red gum, ash secondary wood, modern horsehair upholstery, brass tacks, 39 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 18 1/2 in. (99.69 x 53.97 x 46.99 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Matthew Scott Sloan Collection, Gift of Lidie Lane Sloan McBurney, 1997.150.7. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1997.150.7_bw_IMLS.jpg)
overall, 1997.150.7_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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These chairs are so beautiful!
They certainly are! These chairs are in the neoclassical style and were made by an American craftsman who was looking to English pattern books for ideas. The backrest is in the shape of a shield, which was a style popularized by the London cabinetmaker George Hepplewhite. The carving on the chair back is very finely done, particularly in the rippling cloth swags!
I'm curious about this chair. Was it something one would see in a household during this era or was it for a business? Was it affordable when it was made?
This side chair is from around 1800, and was made in New York! You can see chairs of a similar type in the Cane Acres Perry Plantation House, on of our period rooms on the fourth floor. As in the period room, they would have been found in a house. The owners of Cane Acres were wealthy, but this style of chair was popular and could be made at different price points, depending on the type of wood used and the intricacy of the carving.