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From: Private collection; photo Yale University Art Gallery
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Wainscot chair

Object number



Maker Unknown


43 7/8 24 18 in. (111.443 60.96 45.72 cm)



Current location

National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston


Probably made in Swansea
(view a map of Rhode Island)






"[Illegible text] / Elizabeth [illegible text] / belong[?] [illegible text] / in wh[?] [illegible text] / [illegible text] / England [illegible text]," written in white on a dark gray label affixed to the back of the crest


Hugh Cole (1628–1699/1700); by descent in the Cole and later Martin families, Rehoboth and Swansea, Massachusetts. Susan Taber Martin Allien (ca. 1862–1930), New York; bequeathed to the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston

Associated names

Cole family
Hugh Cole
Sarah Taber Martin Allien


The molded leg stiles are tenoned and wood-pinned to the serpentine-top carved and molded crest rail. Behind the crest rail are wrought iron straps to reinforce the connection, held on with rosehead nails. Beneath the overhanging ends of the crest rail are shaped brackets fixed to the outer edges of the stiles with rosehead nails. The chamfered, molded and carved back panel is tenoned into its framing members, with a perimeter molding held with wood pins. The back rail is tenoned , and double-wood-pinned, to the stiles. The carved arms are tenoned and single wood-pinned to the stiles. The turned arm supports, continuous with the turned front legs, are single-wood pinned to the arms. The side seat rails are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to the front legs; the molded side stretchers and front stretchers are tenoned and single-wood-pinned to them. The side and rear stretchers are tenoned and single-wood pinned to the rear legs. The single-board seat is nailed from above into the side rails and further secured by nails through a perimeter molding. Repairs to the proper-right stile above the seat have been made with screws, wood pins, and rosehead nails. The front legs are extended. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, August 27, 2014; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


Robert F. Trent, "New Insights on Early Rhode Island Furniture," American Furniture (1999): 211–213, fig. 3–6.
William N. Hosley, "Extraordinary Furniture Discoveries," Antiques 172, no. 1 (July 2007): 96, fig. 7.
Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury (New York: MacMillan Company, 1963), no. 1787, ill.
Robert Blair St. George, The Wrought Covenant (Brockton, Mass.: Brockton Art Center-Fuller Memorial, 1979), 67, fig. 79.
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), 1, 8 (ill. frontispiece), 139, 145–146, 148, 189, 371, no. 5.