Object Place: Wethersfield, Connecticut
104.46 x 49.85 x 43.5 cm (41 1/8 x 19 5/8 x 17 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Cherry and pine with original needlework seat cover
Regional Styles in Middle Colonies Gallery (Gallery 134)
This chair is one of a set owned originally by Dr. Ezekiel Porter of Wethersfield, a small community where wealthy gentry prospered in the rich farmland of the Connecticut River Valley. The chair features a slender splat, pointed knee brackets, thin stiles, and pad feet-all characteristic of graceful Connecticut chairs in the late Baroque period. The original seat cover of needlework in a flamestitch pattern is a rare survival.
The chairs came down in the Porter and Belden families from Dr. Ezekiel Porter (1707-1775) of Wethersfield. They formed part of the furnishings of the Porter-Belden House, 400 Main Street, Wethersfield, and one of the set is shown in situ in H. Stiles, History of Ancient Wethersfield, opposite page 534. The inventory of Porter's estate lists fourteen chairs in two rooms at five shillings each, and since this example has a seat frame numbered IX (or XI), it is not improbable that these are the chairs in question though forty other chairs are listed in the inventory at lesser evaluations. The total value of the furnishings was 587/6/4 pounds in an estate of over 2700 pounds.
By exchange with the Garvan Collection