Rocking chair

about 1880
George Hunzinger (American, born in Germany, 1835–1898)

Object Place: New York City, New York, United States


Overall: 85.09 x 55.88 x 78.74 cm (33 1/2 x 22 x 31 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut, blue paint, wool-wrapped steel

On View

David and Stacey Goel Gallery (Gallery 239)




Seating and beds

Rocking chair with plain rockers, turned frame, and wool wrapped steel seat and back. Steel wire webbing is flat in section and wrapped with blue and gold wool. Blue paint is used in the turned grooves on some wood members where there is no blue wool.

This chair celebrates technology. Parts of the frame are machine-made, and the seat and back feature a new upholstery method that Hunzinger patented in 1876. Instead of using layers of webbing, springs, padding, and fabric, he employed flat, steel wire to create a seat that was light and flexible. This chair retains some original blue paint as well as the original blue-and-gold wool fabric wrapped around the steel. When new, the colors would have made the chair even more vibrant.


Stamped on right rear leg: "HUNZINGER / NY / PAT. MARCH 30 / 1869 / PAT. APRIL 18 / 1876."

Credit Line

Gift of Supporters of the Department of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture