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Side chair



39-3/4 in x 20-3/4 in x 20 in


Walnut; tulip poplar (slip seat)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



“V” is chiseled into the front seat rabbet.  “IIII” is chiseled into the slip seat. 

Condition Notes

The splat shows damaged at the top.  The neck is now narrower than the crest rail shaping, indicating that the splat sides have been reduced.  It also has a splice at the top in the rear, which likely creates a new tenon for joining the crest.  The shoe looks like a replacement.  It is short, leaving a gap between its ends and the rear stiles.  All of the corner blocks inside the seat frame are replacements.


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


Of a form that remained popular in the Philadelphia area for decades, this chair embodies two features that suggest a date range late in that period of popularity.  It bears a shell in the center of the crest—a relatively uncommon decorative feature for this basic type of a framed chair.  Also, the molded top edge of the seat rails has a complex molding, instead of the simpler thumbnail profile or no molding at all. The splat design is a variation of one that, like the trifid feet, enjoyed decades of popularity.  The rear legs are octagonal in cross-section, and the side rails are tenoned through the rear stiles.  a scratch bead outlines the chair back.

This chair resembles a design of 1766 entitled “Plain Chair” made by Philadelphia furniture maker Samuel Mickle (1746-1830) (Philadelphia Museum of Art, accession no. 1950-102-1h).