Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
OH: 44 1/2"; OW: 25"; OD: 24"
Maple, tulip poplar, hickory, and paint
Museum Purchase, The Sara and Fred Hoyt Furniture Fund
Acc. No. 2011-69
High-back Windsor armchair; shaped crest rail with slight arch at center with scrolled volutes at either end over nine tall spindles that extend through the arm rails into the seat; three short spindles and one baluster shaped turned arm support support arms on either side of tall spindles; arms original terminated in rounded pads with extra shaping on outside of arms (now missing); D shaped seat with peak at front center and incised line inside junction with spindles; four baluster, ring, post, and ball foot turned and splayed legs with swelled side and baluster and ball turned medial stretchers.
Label:Philadelphia was the birthplace of Windsor chair production in America in the 1740s and central to the continued success of the form. Bold, bulbous turnings, like those seen here on the arm supports, legs, and stretchers, were characteristic of Philadelphia Windsors of the 1750s - 1760s. These elements were often made in bulk by turners and bought by chair makers who stored them until needed for use in a chair.
Few Windsor chair makers were located in the south during the 18th century, so southern families often imported Windsor chairs from Philadelphia to furnish their homes. This example was owned by the Wilson family of Isle of Wight County, Virginia (across the James River from Williamsburg). Such intact southern histories are rare for early Windsors.
Provenance:Descended in the Wilson family and was owned at Rocks Farm on the James River in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.