image of object
From: Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend, Newport Cabinetmaker (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 100, cat. no. 13
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Side chair

Object number



Maker: attributed to John Townsend, American, 1732–1809


96.838 x 60.96 x 44.45 cm (38 1/8 x 24 x 17 1/2 in.)



Current location

Wunsch Americana Foundation, Inc.


Made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (front corner blocks); pine (rear corner blocks); maple (slip seat frame)




“V V,” incised on rabbet of front rail and on underside of front slip seat rail




Teina Baumstone, New York; sold to Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr. (1909–2009), Scarsdale, New York, about 1955; by descent to his widow, Roberta L. Carpenter, Newport, Rhode Island; sold to the Wunsch Americana Foundation, New York, 2014

Associated names

Teina Baumstone
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr.
Roberta L. Carpenter


The flat-fronted, chamfered-back, double-serpentine crest rail centers an arched reserve with incised dot and line decoration and ends in carved, backward-scrolling ears. Tenoned and through-wood-pinned to it are leg-stiles which are flat in front and rounded in back, square and rearward- and inward-raking below the seat rail. Also tenoned into the crest rail is an openwork, single-piece splat, with carved scrolls and punched decoration, flat in back and tenoned into a molded, single-piece shoe fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the rear seat rail, which it overhangs slightly. The rear seat rail is tenoned and wood-pinned to the leg-stiles; the flat arch-skirted side rails are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to the front legs. The flat arch-skirted front rail is tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the front legs. The seat rails are rabbeted to support the slip seat, which are further supported by two vertical glue blocks in each front corner of the seat frame, and a triangular block fixed with nails into each seat corner. The tenoned rear and medial stretchers are doweled into their neighboring elements. The blocked and turned side stretchers are tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear legs and doweled into the flattened inside face of the angular cabriole legs, which end in shod pad feet with incised heels. On the flattened inside face of the proper right front leg is the mark of an aborted dowel hole. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, July 14, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Related objects

See also


Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "Discoveries in Newport Furniture and Silver," Antiques 68, no. 1 (July 1955): 45, fig. 2.
James Biddle, American Art from American Collections: Decorative Arts, Paintings, and Prints of the Colonial and Federal Periods from Private Collections, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1963), 8, nos.12,13, ill.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "Mowbra Hall and a Collection of Period Rooms: Part 2," Connoisseur (August 1972): 86, fig. 9, 10.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2005), 99–101, no. 13, ill.
Laura Beach, "The Past Is Present in Newport: A Couple's Lifelong Love of Antiques," Antiques and Fine Art 6, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 118-121.