Pointed slipper feet, flat, curvilinear stretchers, elongated banisters, and carved shells framed within the crest rail are common characteristics of a group of Late Baroque Philadelphia chairs. In addition to their regional configuration, these chairs exhibit construction techniques attributable to immigrant German craftsmen, including the concealment of the front legs' round tenons behind the front seat rail and the tenoning of the side seat rails through the stiles, which in time became standard in the Philadelphia area.

Technical notes: Black walnut; black walnut (slip seat front and sides), southern yellow pine (slip seat back). The construction is typical of Philadelphia chairs from this period (see B.69.69). B.69.407.1: The seat frame is incised I, its slip seat, VI. B.69.407.2: The front seat rail is marked VII (probably the earlier mark) and II. The seat is stamped I. The rear seat rails are branded GE. Loan numbers and a fragmentary PMA label identify Mr. Wurts as a previous owner of the chairs.

Related examples: Miller 1937a, vol. 1, pp. 131,134, nos. 62-63; Downs 195a, no. 112; Antiques 101 (March 1972), p. 411; Hornor 1977, p. 194, pi. 315; Lloyd 1983, p. 279; Christie's, New York, sale 5890, May 23,1985, lot 192; Elder and Stokes 1987, pp. 21-22, no. 7.

Book excerpt: Warren, David B., Michael K. Brown, Elizabeth Ann Coleman, and Emily Ballew Neff. American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection. Houston: Princeton Univ. Press, 1998.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Side Chair (one of a pair)
c. 1730–1775
Black walnut; black walnut and southern yellow pine
42 1/2 × 20 × 19 1/8 in. (108 × 50.8 × 48.6 cm)
Credit Line

The Bayou Bend Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg

Current Location
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
Accession Number

George Emlen (1695–1754) or his son George Emlen (1718–1776); […]; Charles R. K. Wurts, Philadelphia; [David Stockwell, Philadelphia]; purchased by Miss Ima Hogg, 1948; given to MFAH, prior to 1969.