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4-slat side chair

Northeastern United States


or possibly early 20th century


41-1/2 in x 18-1/2 in x 15-1/2 in


Maple, rush seat

Credit Line

Gift of Hugh Plumb

Accession Number



The donor is a great grandson of H. Rodney Sharp, in whose collection the chair formerly resided.


Small details of this turned side chair separate it from the many, many examples made in the greater Philadelphia region from the mid-18th to early-19th centuries.  It has the requisite features of turned and tapered front and reared posts, box stretchers, tapered feet, and turned finials, but execution differs.  For example, the arched slats have slightly curved undersides—they are neither arched nor straight.  Moreover, the top edges of the slats are beveled.  Although scribe lines (faint gouges cut into the lathe-turned parts) appear and mark the top of the top slat, they are not used to position the lower three slats.  The feet look like they have little or no wear.  Last, the turned finials atop the rear posts are an unusual variation of the range normally encountered.  In particular, the ball at the top has a very deep gouge around the midpoint, and the reel-shaped turning on which it rests does not look like a reel.  These several departures from what are otherwise strong patterns of manufacture suggest that this chair may have been made much later than it initially appears.