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Fancy armchair

Delaware or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

c. 1810


34 in x 21 in x 19 1/4 in


Maple, rush seat

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of Charles Lee Reese Jr.

Accession Number



Gift of Charles Lee Reese Jr.


"ANN JEFFERIS WILSON 1800” is engraved on a brass plaque attached to the back of the crest rail.

Condition Notes

The painted finish has worn off in several places.


The chair was owned by Sara Clark Corbit (1871–1952), a daughter of Ann Jefferis Wilson, and then by her own daughter, Harriet Hurd Curtis (1903–1971), the wife of the donor.


A brass plaque, probably installed by Mrs. Mary Corbit Warner (1848–1923), who installed several other similar plaques on a variety of objects, identifies Ann Jefferis Wilson (1791–1822) as the original owner of this chair along with the date 1800.  The date is wrong--Ann was only 9 years old, but she married David Wilson Jr. in 1808 and was the mother of Sara Clark Corbit.  Stylistically, the chair suggests a date of about 1810.  Painted black with gold striping, it was advertised as a "Japanned" or "Fancy Japanned" chair, fashionable but not very expensive.  The horizonatal bars separated by balls forming slats across the chair back inspired the contemporary term of a "ball-back" chair.


Hotchkiss, “Wilson-Warner House,” 887, pl. III.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 163-164.