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Side chair, splat-back

Origin: America, Massachusetts, Boston
OH: 43 1/4"; OH seat: 17 1/2"; OW seat: 18 1/2"; OD: 18"
Maple, oak, leather, and brass
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1964-249
Chair with double-round crest rail; curved, molded stiles; blocked and turned front legs; turned front stretcher; squared side and rear strectchers; straight, trapezoidal seat frame; mortise and tenon construction; originally upholstered in leather on seat and back and trimmed with rows of brass nails.
Label:Boston chairmakers produced leather chairs such as this for local and export markets until the mid-eighteenth century. This example descended in the Sanders family of Scotia, New York, and was probably one of many shipped from Boston to New York. Plunket Fleeson, a Philadelphia upholsterer, competed with northern imports by advertising in 1739 that he had "Several Sorts of good Chair-frames, black and red leather Chairs, finished cheaper than any made here, or imported from Boston." Boston chairs were also shipped to Southern ports. "12 New England Chairs" were listed in the 1746 probate inventory of Thomas Latimer of Westmoreland County, Virginia.
Provenance:This chair is part of a large group of furniture and other objects acquired with the Glen-Sanders collection in 1964. Most of the pieces in the collections has descended through the Glen, Sanders, Ten Broeck, Livingston and other New York families. The majority of the collection was long used at Scotia, New York, an 18th century family estate in the Mohawk valley at Schenectady. This chair and a similar example (1964-250) appear in photographs of Scotia made in 1912. Chairs of this kind were made in Boston in large numbers and were exported to other English settlements along the Atlantic coast from Canada to the West Indies. It seems unlikely that these are the "Boxback" chairs referred to in the 1923 inventory of Scotia compiled by a member of the Sanders family.