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Slat-back armchair

Probably Berks or Lehigh County, Pennsylvania



49-3/4 in x 24 in x 14-3/4 in


Maple, ash (side and rear rungs), rush (seat)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

Accession Number



Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp


This five-slat armchair exhibits strong Philadelphia-area characteristics tempered by seemingly contradictory features.  The graduated arched slats, for example, are common in that region, but they are almost always undercut along the bottom edge; not straight, as here. The arms are undercut in the front only, whereas Philadelphia-area turned chairs are undercut at the elbow too.  The finials are elegantly turned but not regionally recognizable.  In contrast to those uncertainties, the rear posts have a gentle taper toward the top, the turnings have score rings around the widest diameters, the front posts have the ubiquitous baluster, and the front stretchers exhibit the more substantial turnings of the region.  Slat-back chairs seldom have verifiable histories associated with them, but several chairs related to this one in slats, undercut arms, and front stretchers seem to have come from Berks and Lehigh Counties, suggesting a likely place of origin for this armchair.