Double chair-back settee

about 1770–80

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts


Overall: 100.3 x 166.4 x 66 cm (39 1/2 x 65 1/2 x 26 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany, pine; new upholstery

On View

Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Gallery (Gallery 132)




Seating and beds

Double-chairback settees, fashioned after English models, are rare in American Rococo furniture, and the few examples known are all linked to Massachusetts. Here, the “owl’s-eye” splats; leafy, carved knees; and claw-and-ball feet point to a Boston origin. In addition, Thomas Melville, a Boston merchant and patriot in the Revolution, owned the settee, and it may have been made at the time of his marriage to Priscilla Scollay, in 1774


Thomas Melville (1751-1832) m. Priscilla Scollay, 1774; to daughter Mary Melville, m. John D'Wolf 1808; to daughter Nancy Melville D'Wolf, m. Samuel Downes 1836; to daughter Gertrude Melville Downes, m. James D. Scudder 1864; to daughter Mary Pamelia Scudder, m. George B. Glidden 1884; to daughter Gertrude Glidden, d. 1964; to niece Geanne Glidden, m. John Higgins, of Stratham, New Hampshire; purchased in 1977 (Accession Date October 12, 1977)

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund