image of object
Photo: Courtesy Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Del., 1959.0083.002
Click the image to enlarge

Side chairs, pair

Object number



Maker Unknown


Height: 37 3/4 in. (95.885 cm) Height, seat: 17 3/8 in. (44.133 cm) Width, crest: 15 15/16 in. (40.481 cm) Width, seat front: 20 1/8 in. (51.118 cm) Width, seat back: 15 1/4 in. (38.735 cm) Width, feet: 21 1/8 in. (53.658 cm) Depth, seat: 16 1/2 in. (41.91 cm) Depth, feet: 20 3/8 in. (51.753 cm)


probably 1792

Current location

Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library


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


Sabicu (primary); soft maple (seat frame)




"IIII," incised on rabbet of front seat rail and on front slip seat rail of one chair; “VI,” incised on rabbet of front seat rail and on front slip seat rail of other chair; “M” or “W,” in graphite, on underside of slip seat of chair number "VI;" “Amy,” in ink, on underside of slip seats of both chairs


Mrs. Edmund Trowbridge Ellery (née Katharine Almy, 1770–1803), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to her daughter, Mrs. Samuel Jennison (née Mary Gould Ellery, 1792–1867), Worcester, Massachusetts; by descent to her daughter, Mrs. John Bangs (née Mary Ellery Jennison, 1823–1902), Springfield, Massachusetts; by descent to her daughter, Mrs. Morrison Dwight Montague (née Mary Jennison Bangs, born 1849), Springfield, Massachusetts; by descent to her daughter, Ruth Montague Sturgis (about 1887-1970), Springfield, Massachusetts; sold to Feralyn G. Watson Antiques, Sturbridge, Massachusetts; sold to Winterthur Museum, Delaware, 1959

Associated names

Mary Ellen Jennison Bangs
Ruth Montague Sturgis
Feralyn G. Watson Antiques
Katharine Almy Ellery
Mary Jennison Bangs Montague
Mary Gould Ellery Jennison


The crest is supported on rectangular tenons at the flat-faced canted posts and splat. The flat crest face is slightly cheeked at the posts; the back surface is rounded, including the piercings and center base. The flat-faced splat is slightly modeled at the upper central straps; the back surface is flat with a narrow chamfer around the outside. The edges are piercings are slightly canted, front to back; the base is tenoned into the plinth. The plinth is hollow on the front and side faces; there is no top bead or evidence of nails (probably glued). The posts are rounded on the backs through the sweeps and flat below these points; the sweep cheeks are not pieced. The compass-seat frame has a thick, rounded and sloping top lip; a broad interior rabbet, forming a rectangular opening, supports the loose-seat frame. The front and side rails are sawed in flat arches, which bear diagonal rasp marks. The rails are joined to the posts and front leg extensions with rectangular tenons (pinned, twice at side backs). Small, single or double glue blocks support the interior corners. The rectangular rear legs are angled twice on the forward faces. The small, front claw feet have long, slim, three-knuckle toes that extend into the ankles as sinews. The side stretchers are joined to the rear legs with vertical rectangular tenons (pinned) and to the front legs with round tenons. The medial and rear stretchers are round tenoned into the adjacent members (rear stretchers pinned). Source: Nancy E. Richards and Nancy Goyne Evans, New England Furniture at Winterthur, (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Publications, 1997), 81.

See also


Nancy E. Richards and Nancy Goyne Evans, New England Furniture at Winterthur: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Publications, 1997), 80–81, no. 46, ill.
Nancy Goyne Evans, "A Pair of Distinctive Chairs from Newport, Rhode Island," Antiques 145, no. 1 (January 1994): 186–193, pls. 1–3, 4, fig. 3, 4.
Philip Zea, "The Serpentine Furniture of Colonial Newport," American Furniture (1999): 262, fig. 13.
Sotheby's, New York, Property of the Goddard Family, sale cat. (January 22, 2005), 71, 73, fig. 7.
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), 91n17, 92n46, 94n75, 251, 337n6, 342, 355–357, no. 74, fig. 1.