Folding chair, Renaissance Revival

about 1870
Boston Furniture Company

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Overall: 99.1 x 61 x 64.8 cm (39 x 24 x 25 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut; original upholstery; modern trims

On View

David and Stacey Goel Gallery (Gallery 239)




Seating and beds

Label on underside of seat reads: “Boston Furniture Co. / Patented April 19, 1870.”
Chamfered square rails curve to form the arm supports, rear legs, and the stiles, and front legs of the chair. Chair back is ornamented with carved scrolls and incised lines; a bust of a woman ornaments the triangular crest. The arms are mounted with the head of a dog. U-shaped seat and back are upholstered in a red fabric with a gold and green patterned stripe. The arms are straps of the same material. Modern trims were added in 2009 to restore conjectured original trims.

Folding chairs were all the rage in parlors around 1870. This example was made by the Boston Furniture Company, though many manufacturers produced similar products. These affordable, machine-made chairs were enhanced by hand-carved details, such as the charming dogs’ heads on the armrests.


Label on underside of seat reads: "Boston Furniture Co. / Patented April 19, 1870."


Purchased from Bill Samaha (Wellesley, MA), in 1980.

Credit Line

Mary Smith Fund