Side chair

about 1790

Object Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 160


85.41 cm (33 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Painted birch, pine

Not On View




Seating and beds

Side chair painted dark brown with flower design. Straight tapering legs, spade feet, shaped seat upholstered. Ellliptical back, splat has six painted feathers and center design painted with vase of flowers, ribbon carving and below shaped motif with grapes

Based on a design in George Hepplewhite’s “The Cabinetmakers and Upholsterer’s Guide” (1788), these oval-back chairs were in the latest style. Hepplewhite described the design as “a new and very elegant fashion [that] has arisen within these few years, of finishing [the chairs] with painted or japanned work, which give a rich and splendid appearance to the minutest parts of Ornaments.”


Acquired by the MFA, December 1933, purchased as part of a group of three pieces for $1,200.

Credit Line

Arthur Mason Knapp Fund