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Side chair

Philadelphia and environs



38-1/8 in x23-3/4 in x 22 in


Walnut; white cedar (corner blocks)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

Accession Number



“I” is chiseled into the front seat rabbet.

Condition Notes

All corner blocks are replaced except in the right front.  The left front leg has split and is repaired.  The knee brackets of that leg are replacements.  A narrow sliver along the right edge of the splat looks like a later repair, but it may represent a lamination at the time of manufacture to create a board of adequate width.

The chair is missing its slip seat.


Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp


This side chair has a solid, eared splat made of figured walnutChippendale.  The outer S shaped curve has a shallow cusp or point, a feature of some, but not many, Philadelphia-area splats.  A splat of this general shape is on a chair bearing a 1780s label of William Savery of Philadelphia.  (See Philip D. Zimmerman, “The Documented Chairs of William Savery,” American Furniture 2021/2022 [Milwaukee, WI: The Chipstone Foundation, 2022], 48, fig. 32.)  The serpentine crest has a central carved shell and joins the tops of undecorated rear stiles that end in rounded rear (sometimes called stump) legs.  The front and side rails are undercut.  The side rails are tenoned through the rear stiles. The front cabriole legs end in nicely carved claw-and-ball feet.  Of note, the rear legs stand widely apart, emphasizing the broader and squarer stance of this chair, which reinforces the relatively late date of manufacture