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4-slat armchair

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4-slat armchair

Eastern Pennsylvania

1750-1790 45 in x 25-3/8 in x 19-1/2 Maple (front and rear posts, arms), ash (slats, stretchers), rush seat

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp


The seat appears to be a replacement.  The chair has been stripped of paint.

Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp

The finials, double undercutting of the arms, and stacked baluster turnings of the front posts above the seat suggest an origin for this chair in the greater Philadelphia region.  That said, the absence of arched undercutting of the four back slats of graduated sizes argues that this chair was not made in Philadelphia or its immediate environs.  Many chairs with flat-bottomed slats and similarly shaped arms have been found in areas west of Philadelphia.

The rush seat is woven with strands grouped in threes, representing an 18th century technique that was easier and faster than alternating single srtrands of rush.  Unfortunately, not many original rush seats survive.  The undersides of the arms and other places retain evidence of black paint or a similar very dark finish.