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Side chair

Northeastern United States



39-1/8 in x 21-1/4 in x 21 in



Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

Accession Number



"VI" is chiseled into the front seat rabbet; "IIII" is chiseled into the slip seat.

Condition Notes

All of the corner blocks inside the seat frame are modern.  The inside end of the left rear foot has a triangular repair.


Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp.  When owned by Sharp, this chair was considered one of a set of four.  The other three (acc. nos. 1959.3254.1.-.3) are recorded separately.


This side chair appears to have been made in the mid-20th century to match three other chairs, acc. nos. 1959.3254.1.-.3.  Circumstances suggest that it was made to deceive and is therefore a fake.  Several small but telling details emerge when the four chairs are compared.  They include:  The chiseled seat and slip seat numbers duplicate those on the three chairs, which would not happen in an original set.  The walnut used in this chair is slightly lighter in color than that on the three chairs.  Several small measurements (such as the width of the splat shoe) differ on this chair, whereas the measurements are identical on the three chairs.  Placement of a few pegs in joints on this chair differs, whereas placement is identical on the three chairs.  In all places where unfinished would might oxidize, such as the underside of corner blocks, the parts in question have been presented as if they are replacements.  The old slip seat on this chair must have come from another source:  the chisel used to make the Roman numeral had a different blade than those on the other three chairs, and the spacing between each chisel mark is noticeably different.

The old slip seat is upholstered in black horsehair.  The red wool seat visible in the image is upholstered on a modern replacement slip seat.