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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive, Preservation Society of Newport County, 4871
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Side chair

Object number



Maker Unknown


41 21 17 1/2 in. (104.14 53.34 44.45 cm)



Current location

Preservation Society of Newport County


Made in Massachusetts, formerly said to have been made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); pine (glue blocks)




“IIII,” incised on rabbet of front seat rail


Mr. and Mrs. Ralph E. Carpenter, Newport, Rhode Island; given to the Preservation Society of Newport County, 1953

Associated names

Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr.
Roberta L. Carpenter


The crest rail?s front is flat, its back is rounded, its shoulders are arched, and its similarly faced serpentine upper stiles are tenoned and wood-pinned to its ends. The pins are visible on both faces of the crest rail. The crest rail centers a carved shell above a scrolling volute, from whose termini depend carved foliage. The back of the stiles are rounded at the top; their inward-curving portions are separate pieces. Tenoned into the underside of the crest rail and the top of the molded, single-piece shoe/rear seat rail is a solid vasiform splat, serpentine in profile and chamfered at its back outside edge. The shoe/rear rail is tenoned into the rear leg/stiles, which are alternately chamfered in back below the serpentine portion, square at the seat rail, then chamfered to the turned rear stretcher (which is doweled into them), and finally square, with a deeply chamfered front face at the bottom. The serpentine, flat-arch-skirted side seat rails are tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the rear leg/stiles and to the front legs. The flat-arched-skirted bowed front seat rail is tenoned and single-wood-pinned to the front legs. The medial stretcher is tenoned, without wood pins, to the side stretchers; its blocked end portions are fixed to the side stretchers? blocked portions. The side stretchers are tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear and front legs; the pins are visible on the outside faces of the rear legs, and on both faces of the front legs. The tall mortise and tenon joint at each front leg is located on a flattened vertical portion of its inside face. In each inside corner of the seat frame is a triangular block fixed with brads. The inside faces of the seat rails, rabbeted to receive the slip seat, are straight. The front cabriole legs end in full-disc pad feet. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, June 6, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "Newport, A Center of Colonial Cabinetmaking," Antiques 147, no. 4 (April 1995): 552, pls. IV, V.