image of object
Photo: Courtesy Newport Historical Society, R.I., Gift of Stephen Farnum Peckham, 1942, inv. no. 01.270; photo by Christopher Gardner
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Banister-back armchair

Object number



Maker Unknown


41 1/2 26 18 in. (105.41 66.04 45.72 cm)



Current location

Newport Historical Society


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


Ash (crest rail, arms, spindles of back, lower back rail, stretchers, and seat rails); maple (rear posts and front legs)






Peleg Peckham (1710–1765), Middletown, Rhode Island; by descent to his son Thomas Peckham (1747–1825), Middletown and Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his son Thomas Peckham (1783–1843), Middletown, Rhode Island and Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his daughters Eliza Ann Peckham (1811–1899) and Sarah Wardwell Peckham (1820–1911), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to their nephew Stephen Farnum Peckham (1839–1918), Providence, Rhode Island; given in his memory to the Newport Historical Society, Rhode Island, 1942

Associated names

Stephen Farnum Peckham
Peleg Peckham
Thomas Peckham
Thomas Peckham
Eliza Ann Peckham
Sarah Wardwell Peckham


The top edge of the double-arched crest rail has a chamfered and beaded front and a chamfered back. The ends of the crest rail are chamfered in back, and tenoned, with one wood pin, into the turned rear stiles. Four turned, split banisters below are tenoned into the bottom of the crest rail and the top of the lower rail, whose serpentine skirt is chamfered in front, and whose ends, chamfered in back, are tenoned without wood pins, to the turned rear stiles. The rails of the rush-covered seat below are doweled into the front and rear stiles. The serpentine arms with chamfered edges are doweled into the rear stiles. The turned front stiles are doweled into the ends of the arms. Simple round stretchers connect the rear legs to each other and the rear legs to the front legs. The lower of the two turned stretchers which join the front legs is of the same pattern as, but slightly larger size than the upper one. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, March 25, 2014; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also


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), 5n3, 184, 186–188, no. 21.