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Photo: Courtesy Newport Historical Society, R.I., Gift of Mrs. Frederick Nichols, inv. no. 24.3.1; photo by Christopher Gardner
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Side chair

Object number



Maker Unknown


41 × 19 × 21 1/4 in. (104.14 × 48.26 × 53.98 cm) Height, seat: 18 in. (45.72 cm)



Current location

Newport Historical Society


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






"VII," inscribed on upper surface of front seat rail; "In Memory of Mrs. Sara Jarvis Pattison / Presented by / Mrs. Frederick Nichols," engraved, on brass plaque nailed inside front seat rail


By descent in the Bull family, Newport, Rhode Island; Mrs. Frederick Nichols (née Sarah Desier Pattison, 1867–1931), Boston; given to the Newport Historical Society, Rhode Island, 1924

Associated names

Bull family
Sarah Desier Pattison


The flat-fronted yoke-shaped crest rail has chamfered edges on its backside. Tenoned and single-wood-pinned to its ends are flat-fronted, chamfered-backed serpentine stiles, continuous with rear legs which are square at the seat rail, chamfered down to the stretchers, and square and rearward-raking below the stretchers. Tenoned into the crest rail above and into the four-sided molded shoe below is a single-piece, serpentine, vasiform splat. The shoe is fixed to the rear seat rail, which it overhangs, with brads. The rear seat rail is tenoned to the rear legs with one wood pin per joint. The flat-arched side rails are tenoned to the rear legs and to the block atop the front legs, with one wood pin per joint. The seat rails are rabbeted to receive the slip seat. The blocked and turned side stretchers are tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the front and rear legs. The rear and medial stretchers are doweled into their respective neighboring members. The front, scallop-skirted seat rail is tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the blocks atop the front, cabriole legs, which have carved knee brackets (one replaced) attached with brads and rosehead nails, rounded knees, and lightly shod pad feet with incised heels. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, March 25, 2014; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.


The double-ring turnings on the medial stretcher, the prominence of the rings on the side stretchers near the back legs, and the squareness of the back legs where they meet the floor suggest a Rhode Island origin.

See also


Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640–1820 (Newport, R.I.: Preservation Society of Newport County, 1954), 45, no. 19, ill.
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), 3, 70, 91n13, 256, 258–261, 267, 272, 347, no. 46.