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Photo: Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery, Mabel Brady Garvan Collection, 1930.2415
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Side chair

Object number



Maker Unknown


39 9/16 × 15 3/4 × 16 7/8 in. (100.489 × 40.005 × 42.863 cm)



Current location

Yale University Art Gallery


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


American black walnut (primary); soft maple (seat rails); white pine (corner blocks)


Ink inscription on torn paper label (now removed from chair to gallery files): "Gov WM.../Chair-s.../my Catalo.../Page 45.No.../ I W Lyo.."


Possibly Gov. William Pitkin (1694–1769), Hartford, Connecticut. Irving W. Lyon (1840–1896), Hartford; by descent to his daughter, Mrs. John P. Penney (née Mary Lyon), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; sold to Francis P. Garvan (1875–1937), New York; given to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, 1930

Associated names

Francis P. Garvan
Gov. William Pitkin
Irving W. Lyon
Mary Lyon Penney


The front corner blocks are triangular in shape with horizontal grain and are attached with rosehead nails and glue. The crest rail is pinned to the stiles. The rear seat rail is pinned to the stiles with single wooden pegs. The side seat rails are pinned to the stiles with double wooden pegs. The side stretchers are pinned to the rear stiles. The splat shoe is nailed to the rear seat rail. Each knee bracket is held secure with two nails. A new one-inch deep piece has been added to the inside of the rear seat rails. The rear corner blocks are new. The left stile has been cracked and repaired above the seat.

See also


Patricia E. Kane, 300 Years of American Seating Furniture Chairs and Beds from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976), 145, no. 123, 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), 348nn7, 9.