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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Culture:American
Title:side chair
Date Made:1770-1800 and 1876
Type:Furniture
Materials:wood: possibly maple, black ash and or maple; paint, textile
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Deerfield
Measurements:Overall: 42 1/4 in x 19 7/8 in x 15 in; 107.3 cm x 50.5 cm x 38.1 cm
Narrative Inscription:  Baroque, Colonial Revival
Accession Number:  HD 2019.23
Credit Line:Gift of Ann. S. Cordis

Description:
Bannister-back side chair probably made in Deerfield at the end of the eighteenth century with painted decoration done around the time of the cenntenial of the United States in 1876. The chair shares features of the earliest known turned chairs made in Deerfield, such as the signature ogee shape of the crest rail, and four flat bannisters comprising the splat. The chair's later painted decoration consists of an overall layer of black paint, with gold colored paint highlighting areas of turning on the stiles, legs, stretchers, and finials. The gold painted decoration on the splat includes the date 1776 on the proper right side, and 1876 on the proper left side with two American flags at center painted in red, white, and blue. The seat is upholstered over the rails in red and white gingham secured with old nails and tacks that are possibly contemporary to the chair's painted decoration. The chair descended in the Colton-Cordis family of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. It is an important document of the pride Americans felt upon the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the country, which led to a greater interest in collecting and celebrating early American objects, particularly furniture. The minimal wear on this chair's seat and painted decoration suggests that it was perhaps a more ornamental part of the family's interior furnishings, rather than seating furniture intended for everyday use. See 69.0635 and P.115/A for similar examples of the form made in Deerfield, but lacking later painted decoration.

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