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4-slat side chair

Northeastern United States, probably Mid-Atlantic Region



41 in x 20-3/8 in 16-1/4 in


Maple (assumed but completely covered by paint), ash (seat lists and side stretchers or rungs), splint seat

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

Accession Number


Condition Notes

The tops of the arches of the top and second slat have split off.  All of the slats are now pegged to the rear posts except the second slat from the top.  There is evidence of black paint under present red.  The seat is beginning to split.  The front stretcher is quite worn under the red paint.


Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp


This side chair is a puzzle.  The high, ball finials and rear posts resemble many New England turned chairs, and the arched slats with straight bottom edges are appropriate for that region.  The top slat, however, is undercut with a slight curve, which has no 18th century counterpart.  Neither the thick turned rear stretcher with a center ball or ring nor the complex turning of the front stretcher suggests New England work.  The front stretcher, especially, with multiple score rings around the widest diameters of the several balusters, resembles some Pennsylvania turnings.

The later red coat of paint is very thick in places, obscuring the wood.  Elsewhere, notably on the undersides of the front and other stretchers, black paint is visible under the red.  The red paint may be hiding restorations to the bottoms of the four legs, which exhibit no tapering or other acknowledgment of feet.