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Bow-back Windsor side chair

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



William Cox (working c. 1768-1811, d. 1811)


37-1/2 in x 21-1/2 in x 20-1/2 in


Tulip poplar* seat, white oak* bow, hickory* spindles, maple* legs and stretchers

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of Mrs. Samuel F. Pryor III

Accession Number



“W C O X” is stamped into the underside of the seat.

Condition Notes

Approximately 3-1/2 inches has been restored to the bottoms of each leg.  The chair was painted a pea green by Winterthur in the early 1980s.  It was repainted its present color in 2022.


This Windsor side chair is believed to have been used by the Corbit family in the Corbit house, perhaps among one of the three sets of 6 Windsor chairs listed in William Corbit's estate inventory of 1818.  Assuming William's ownership, it likely descended from him to his son Daniel Corbit to his son Daniel Wheeler Corbit to his daughter Sara Corbit Reese to the donor.


The bow-back Windsor side chair has a shield-shaped seat into which four bamboo-turned legs, joined by H stretchers, are socketed.  The bent hoop of the back contains nine spindles, also turned in bamboo shapes.  The incised rings in the bamboo spindles form a high arch.

According to Nancy Goyne Evans, American Windsor Chairs (New York:  Hudson Hills Press with The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1996), 88-89, William Cox went to Philadelphia in the early 1760s, probably from New Castle, Delaware.  Philadelphia turner and spinning-wheel maker John Shearman advertised on October 3, 1765, for a runaway apprentice named William Cox, who may have been this maker.  Cox took on his own apprentice in 1768, signaling his establishment as a tradesman.


John A.H. Sweeney, Grandeur on the Appoquinimink: The House of William Corbit at Odessa, Delaware (1959; 2nd. ed., Newark, Del.:  University of Delaware Press, 1989), 113.