image of object
Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive
Click the image to enlarge

Side chair

Object number



Maker John Carlile and Sons, active 1789–1803


37 19 3/16 21 in. (93.98 48.74 53.34 cm) Height, seat: 15 1/8 in. (38.42 cm)



Current location

Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc.


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


Mahogany (primary); birch (seat rails and cross braces); pine (front corner block)


"Made and Sold, by / JOHN CARLILE & Sons. / All Kinds of Cabinet Work done, in the best Manner, and at the shortest / Notice, at their Shop, just Southward of the / Market, in Providence, State of Rhode- / Island, &c," printed, on paper label glued to interior of rear seat rail


“No 6,” in chalk, on proper left seat rail; “1” through “4,” in graphite, on cross braces and adjacent rails; label on interior rear seat rail


Providence, Rhode Island, estate, 2017; sold to Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc., Sharon, Massachusetts

Associated names

Providence estate


The serpentine crest rail is molded on its front face and rounded on its back; a small portion has been replaced. The leg/stiles connected to its ends are also molded on the front and rounded on the back and consist of the outside portions of the shield-shaped back, a short, slightly serpentine portion, and square, tapering legs, which rake rearward and inward below the seat. The incurvate bottom rail of the shield-shaped back is tenoned, without wood pins, to the leg/stiles. A single-piece openwork splat, tenoned into the crest rail, consists of feather carving, a reeded kylix and leaf-carved swags within an ellipse, and five uprights above a fluted segmental reserve. The back edges of the carved elements are chamfered. The back face of the portion of the leg/stiles between the shield and the seat is rounded at its outside corners and chamfered at its inside corner. The rear seat rail, topped by a molded strip nailed with brads, is tenoned and wood-pinned to the leg/stiles. The side seat rails are through-tenoned (prominently scribe-lined) and wedged to the leg/stiles. The front seat rail is serpentine on its outside face; its inside face is straight at the ends and incurvate in the middle. A shaped block is glued and nailed into the interior proper left corner of the seat frame; the proper right block is missing. At each corner of the seat frame is a diagonal brace set into grooves (laid out with two scribe lines) in the top of contiguous seat rails. The side rails are tenoned and wood-pinned to the leg/stiles. The outside faces of the side stretchers are flush with the outside faces of their adjoining legs, to which they are tenoned without wood pins. The tops of the stretchers are flat. The square, tapering front legs are molded on their outside faces, and plain on their inside faces. The inside corners of the rear legs are chamfered. Examined by P.E. Kane, March 16, 2017; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also