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Photo: Courtesy the Rhode Island Historical Society, 1961.2.6 (RHiX32592)
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Side chairs, three

Object number



Maker Unknown
Maker possibly by Job Danforth, 1745–1838


39 3/4 x 21 1/2 x 17 in. (100.965 x 54.61 x 43.18 cm)



Current location

The Rhode Island Historical Society


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


Mahogany (primary); oak (secondary)




Job Danforth (1745–1838), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to Maj. and Mrs. J. Danforth Edwards, Cranston and Wakefield, Rhode Island; given to the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, 1961

Associated names

Maj. J. Danforth Edwards
Mrs. J. Danforth Edwards


The serpentine crest rail is molded on its front face and rounded on its back face. Tenoned without wood pins to the ends of the crest rail are the tops of the leg/stiles, whose faces are similarly carved. The leg/stiles are square from just above the seat frame to the bottom. The legs are square, raking rearward and inward. A single-piece openwork splat is tenoned into the crest rail and the molded, three-sided seat shoe, which is nailed with brads to the rear seat rail. The splat consists of feather carving (continued on the crest rail above), a reeded kylix and leaf-carved swags within an ellipse, and pendant foliage within incurvate uprights below. The back edges of the splat?s carved elements are not chamfered. The rear seat rail and stretcher are both tenoned without wood pins to the rear legs, and are both slightly shy thereof. Glue blocks are attached, in each corner. The rear seat rail is considerably thicker than the legs to which it is attached. At each corner of the frame is a diagonal brace set into grooves in the top of the inside faces of contiguous seat rails. The side stretchers, slightly shy of the outside faces of the front and rear legs, are tenoned to them without wood pins. The top of the medial stretcher is shy of the tops of the side stretchers, to which it is tenoned. The front legs are square, tapering, molded at their outside faces, and chamfered at their inside corners. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, August 18, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Eleanore Bradford Monahon, "Providence Cabinetmakers," Rhode Island History 23, no. 1 (January 1964): 5, fig. 1.
Eleanore Bradford Monahon, "Providence Cabinetmakers of the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries," Antiques 87, no. 5 (May 1965): 574, fig. 3.
William M. Pillsbury, "Earning a Living 1788–1818: Job Danforth, Cabinetmaker," Rhode Island History 31, nos. 2 and 3 (May and August 1972): 86, fig. 2.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 85, fig. 19.