Side chair, ca. 1750-ca. 1780
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Photo courtesy of The Franklin Institute, Inc.

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Photo courtesy of The...
Photo courtesy of The...
Photo courtesy of The...
  • Overview
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The Philadelphia Queen Anne walnut side chair has a serpentine crest rail, solid vase-shaped splat, trapezoidal seat, cabriole legs and pad feet.

The serpentine crest rail has a flat front surface, and ends in flat discs or circular ears. The line of the design continues unbroken down the tapering stiles and the attenuated, vase-shaped splat. The outer edges of stiles and crest rail are marked by a single, continuous incised line less than 1/4 inch in from the edges of the wood. The seat frame has a rounded upper edge. Its lower edges are straight. The front legs are cabriole, with plain knees, slender ankles and round pad feet raised on low discs. The joint of legs and seat frame is softened by serpentine corner brackets. The rear legs continue from the vertical stiles, raking backward and curving slightly. All four edges are cut away or canted, resulting in a leg that is octagonal in section. The joint of the bottom of the splat and the rear seat frame is strengthened by a shoe or stay rail that has been worn or sanded away on the front edges, but retains its molded contour on the sides.

The seat frame is tenoned through the rear stiles, and the joint is pinned twice on the rear edges and twice on the sides. The joints of the seat rail front are also pinned twice on front and sides. The front leg brackets are glued and nailed in place. They appear to be original, and the nails holding them seem to be the original ones. The pins that hold the tenons in place at the back of the chair seem to have been nailed through (at a later date).

The chair frame has been over-upholstered, and a later (19th century) set of springs substituted for the slip seat.

Connection to Franklin
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