Side chair

about 1765–85

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts


Overall: 97.2 x 62.5 x 47.9 cm (38 1/4 x 24 5/8 x 18 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany, soft maple, red oak

On View

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




Seating and beds

This chair represents the height of the Rococo style in colonial Boston. Closely based on English examples, the chair originally was owned by Moses Gill, of Boston and Princeton, Massachusetts. Gill was a prosperous hardware merchant and a political official who served as lieutenant governor and acting governor of Massachusetts. He was married to Nicholas Boylston’s sister Rebecca, whose portrait is on view in the Copley Gallery.


Rear seat rail is incised "VI"
Slip-seat frame incised "V"

A brass plaque attached to the chair reads: “This chair belonged to Lieut Gov Moses Gill Bought by Gen Sylvanus Lazell in 1800 (all caps no periods) Inherited by (small caps) Hon. (this underside of rear seat rail) Nahun Mitchell / James Henry Mitchell / Jennet Orr (Mitchell) Copeland / Alices Ames (Copeland) Draper / Ruth Sumner (Draper) Peters.”


History of ownership: Moses Gill (1734-1800), Lieutenant Governor Massachusetts; 1800, by purchase to General Sylvanus Lazell (May 17, 1752-October 10, 1827), Bridgewater (Plymouth), Massachusetts; 1827, inherited by John Nahum Mitchell (Feb. 12, 1769-April 1, 1853), Harvard Class of 1789, and his wife Nabby (daughter of Gen. Lazell) ; 1853, by inheritance ti their son, James Henry Mitchell; to Jennet Orr (Mitchell) Copeland; to Alice Ames (Copeland) Draper; to Ruth Sumner (Draper) Peters; August 1994, inherited by the donor, Priscilla Q. (Mrs. Lothrop W.) Weld, Duxbury, Massachusetts (Accession Date March 27, 1996)

Credit Line

Gift of Priscilla Quincy Weld in memory of her mother and grandmother, Ruth Draper Peters and Alice Ames Draper, and Elizabeth Marie Paramino Fund in memory of John F. Paramino, Boston Sculptor, Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund, Ernest Kahn Fund, John Wheelock Elliott and John Morse Elliott Fund, Alice M. Bartlett Fund, and Edwin E. Jack Fund