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4-slat side chair

Northeastern United States



44-1/2 in x 18 in x 16-1/4 in


Probably maple and possibly other unidentified hardwoods (slats and front stretcher), rush (seat)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

Accession Number



Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp


This turned side chair is made in the manner of late 18th century Philadelphia and Delaware Valley chairs, but several small details betray its being made out of period.  The arched slats in the back are not of graduated sizes, which is unusual but not a flaw of period manufacture.  However, their shape is uncharacteristic.  All of the decorative turnings have no close 18th century corollaries.  The differences are slight but consistent.  For example, the finials are mushroom turnings above two reel-like turnings, a design that is more representative of New England work and not of Philadelphia.  Similarly, the front stretcher has elongated balusters flanking a reel, as occasionally found in New England, yet each baluster has a score line around the widest part in keeping with Pennsylvania practices.  The baluster turnings near the tops of the front legs have more detail and in different places than late 18th century Pennsylvania examples.  Details of the ball feet also differ.  Another small detail that suggests later, out-of-period work lies in the score lines around the front and rear posts.  They mark placement of the slats but do not exist below the seat, where they also should mark placement of the stretchers.  All of these features, coupled with the absence of close resemblances to period turned-chair-making, argues that this chair is not of the period.

The woods appear to be maple but are more porous (i.e., more visible grain) than usual.  The chair is covered in a thin, dark finish.