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Photo: Courtesy Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Conn.
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Side chair

Object number



Maker Unknown


42 1/2 × 20 × 15 in. (107.95 × 50.8 × 38.1 cm)


probably 1758

Current location

Private Collection


Probably made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Walnut (primary); maple (slip seat frame)




3 notches incised on rabbet of front seat rail; “IV,” incised, on slip seat; “X,” incised, on interior of rear seat rail


Mrs. John Noyes, then Mrs. Gold Selleck Silliman, then Mrs. John Dickinson (née Mary Fish, 1737–1818), Stonington, then New Haven, then Fairfield, and later Wallingford, Connecticut; by descent to her son, Benjamin Silliman (1779–1864), New Haven, Connecticut; by descent to his son, Benjamin Silliman, Jr. (1816–1895), New Haven, Connecticut; by descent to his daughter Mrs. Arthur Williams Wright (née Susan Forbes Silliman,1841-1890), New Haven, Connecticut; by descent to her daughter Mrs. Edwin Pugsley (née Dorothy Silliman Wright, 1883–1967), New Haven, Connecticut; by descent in her family; sold to Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Connecticut, 2017; sold to a private collection, 2017

Associated names

Mary Fish Silliman
Nathan Liverant and Son
Benjamin Silliman
Sarah Forbes Silliman
Professor Benjamin Silliman, Jr.
Dorothy Silliman Wright


The crest rail is serpentine in profile, with a flat front face, and a raised, central section with an incurvate top edge. In back, its shoulders are rounded at the outside edge and chamfered at the inside edge. Tenoned and wood-pinned to the ends of the crest are leg/stiles that are serpentine in profile, with flat front faces and rear faces with chamfered edges that taper toward square blocks just above the seat rail. Below, they are round, then square in plan from just above the rear stretcher, raking rearward slightly, with slightly chamfered outside corners below the rear stretcher. A vasiform splat, serpentine in profile, has a flat front and a back with chamfered edges. It is tenoned into the crest rail and into the single-piece molded shoe, which overhangs in front the rear seat rail to which it is attached with wood-filled fasteners. The rear seat rail is tenoned and wood-pinned to the leg/stiles. The flat-arch-skirted side seat rails, rabbeted inside to receive the slip seat, are tenoned and wood-pinned to the leg/stiles and to the rounded blocks above each front leg. The front seat rail is similarly configured and joined, but with a scalloped skirt. The slightly conical ends of the rear stretcher include small fillet and nearly half-round turnings, and are doweled into the rear legs. The medial stretcher, similarly shaped and doweled, lacks the turnings at its conical ends. The blocked and turned side stretchers are tenoned and wood-pinned to the rear and front legs; the joints are not through-pinned, being visible at the outside of the legs only. The tops of the front cabriole legs include integral rectilinear vertical blocks for the support of the slip seat. The top of the blocks? inside corner is slightly stepped down. The outside of the seats rails? top edge is rounded. The front cabriole legs, rounded from knee to ankle, without and within, have ogee-shaped knee brackets held on with nails and glue, and lightly shod disc-carved pad feet. Examined by P.E. Kane, May 16, 2017; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

See also