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Photo: Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery
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Upholstered armchair


Object number

RIF5502

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

38 3/8 23 1/4 23 1/8 in. (97.5 59.1 58.7 cm) seat: 14 1/2 26 3/4 in. (36.8 67.9 cm)

Date

1760–75

Current location

Yale University Art Gallery

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); soft maple (seat rails, back frame, and upholstered section of arms)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

According to tradition, Rev. Ezra Stiles (1727–1795), Newport, Rhode Island and New Haven, Connecticut; by descent in his family; given to Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, New Haven; transfer to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut,1969

Associated names

Ezra Stiles

Construction

When the chair was stripped of its upholstery the following observations could be made about its structure. The mahogany rear legs are mortised and tenoned to the seat frame. Above the seat frame the mahogany is cut at an angle to provide a strong joint with the frontward sloping maple frame of the back (the two pieces are held with glue and screws). The top and bottom back rails are mortised and tenoned to the maple stiles. The ends of the arms are mortised through the stiles, and the fronts of the arms are screwed to the tops of the arm supports. Thin corner braces are glued to slots in the seat rails. The absence of brass shafts or round impressions on the seat rails indicates that the chair was never trimmed with brass tacks. The chair has recently been upholstered in red moreen (Brunschwig & Fils, 38691.01).

Bibliography

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), 222–223, no. 207, ill.