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Side chair



39 in x 22 in x 20-1/4 in


Walnut; hard pine and tulip poplar (slip seat)

Accession Number



“VIII” is chiseled into the front seat rabbet.  “II” is chiseled into the slip seat.  A printed label for “Burns Storage Co. / 214 S. 10th St.” is pasted onto the inside of the left seat rail.

Condition Notes

The center section of the crest rail where it adjoins the splat has split in front where the splat tenon inserts and has been glued.  The crest rail sits above the two rear stiles, leaving a gap of 1/16 inch or less, suggesting that the crest rail has been reinstalled.


Bequest of Dr. and Mrs. J. Newberry Reynolds to The David Wilson Mansion, Inc., in 1942.


The side chair, part of a set of eight or more, is made of attractively grained walnut.  The serpentine crest ending in flared ears and the opposed ogee curves in decorating the front rail are the most time-sensitive features of this chair.  Trifid feet, in contrast, were popular from the 1730s through and beyond 1800. The seat rail has a thumbnail molding along the top edge.  The side rails are tenoned through the rear stiles, and the rear legs are shaped to an oval cross-section.Q

The Burns Storage Company, established about 1865 in Philadelphia, rented storage space, as indicated in Philadelphia Inquirer advertisements of May 1 and 8, 1899.  The label on the chair has space to record a “lot” number and other information.  Similar labels have not been observed on other furniture from the Reynolds collection, bequeathed in 1942, so this chair was likely stored by its owner before being sold to an antiques dealer and subsequently acquired by the Reynoldses.