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High-back Windsor armchair

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



40 1/4 in x 25 1/4 in x 26 1/2 in


Tulip poplar (seat), maple (legs and stretchers), oak (crest and arm rail), hickory (spindles)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



“This old chair was bought at the sale of Jno. Starr – of Cantwell’s Bridge in the year 1824 [sic] of whom I was ext [executor] He was an old batchelor proverbial for his honesty and other Christian virtues / D. Corbit” is written in ink on a board used to repair the seat.

Condition Notes

A rectangular board nailed to the underside of the seat stabilizes a crack all the way across the seat. The front arm supports are replacements.  Iron rods set between the first and second arm spindles secure the arm rail to the seat. Iron straps attached to the front and back faces of the arm rail reinforce a break in the right rear.  The outer portion of the handholds is missing from both sides. Small wooden balls added to the bottoms of the rear feet level the chair. The dark brown paint is not original.


The Windsor armchair descended from Daniel Corbit to Daniel Wheeler Corbit (1843–1922), to Sara Clark Corbit (1871–1952), to Harriet Hurd Curtis Reese (1903–1971), to Sara Corbit Reese Pryor (1932–2019), who gave it to the David Wilson Mansion.


Despite (and because of) its several repairs, this Windsor armchair has important historical associations and values.  According to Daniel Corbit’s own inscription, he purchased it at a local sale some fifty years after it was made.  He clearly did not buy it for use but because it reminded him of its former owner, John Starr.  Starr (birth date unknown) was a store owner in the Odessa community and, although likely older than Daniel, named him as executor of his estate.  This chair is among a handfull of objects predating 1825 that were cherished for their earlier owner associations.


Horace L. Hotchkiss Jr., “The Wilson-Warner House in Odessa.” Antiques 119, no 4 (April 1981):  890, pl. 8.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, pp. 43-44, 158-159.