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1750-1775 42 in x 29-5/8 in x 21 in Walnut; tulip poplar (slip seat)

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp


Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp

This armchair displays strong features of seating from the greater Philadelphia area.  The serpentine crest rail with large, out-flaring ears and a carved shell in the center caps an eared splat typical of the region.  Similarly, the crest rail and rear stiles have a scratch bead along their outer edges. The front seat rail has opposed ogee curves, and the cabriole front legs end in trifid feet.  The rear legs are chamfered, and because of the deeper seat rails associated with the armchair form, the side rails are cut with two tenons that extend through the rear stiles.  The arms have volutes carved into the fronts of handholds but not the sides facing backwards.  The arm supports are especially curvaceous.  The entire back curves front-to-back in an S shape—a nod both to comfort and interest in curving lines.  This front-to-back movement seems to have lost favor about the time of the American Revolution.

Like many armchairs, this one retains evidence of having had a chamber pot built into the seat frame. The armchair has no Roman numeral incised into the front seat rabbet or inside of the rear seat rail.  Also, the tops of the seat rails are not molded, as was so common in Philadelphia urban work.