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Side chair, splat-back

1790-1800
Origin: America, New York, New York
OH 39" OW (Seat) 20 3/4" OD 21 1/2"
Mahogany, ash, white pine; webbing, iron tacks, foundation linen, hair stuffing, top linen, haircloth, and brass nails.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1964-257,2
Shield back with triple arch top and molded stiles terminating at point at base; back composed of three, upright splats, the center one pierced and fan-shaped at top; each upright is carved with acanthus leafage near bottom, and crosshatched blocks at center; between block and acanthus carving on center splat is a row of carved husks; the three splats meet at base of back in carved, lunette; carved foliage fills area between side splats and top of stiles on either side; serpentine shape supports below back on either side connect to rear of seat; narrow area of carved leafage between supports and back; square seat with bowed front rail, upholstered over seat rail; one chair covered with green, patterned horsehair, the other in unpatterned black; both fastened with brass nails in serpentine row above lower straight row; front legs square in section, tapering to base and terminating in tapering, spade feet; front and sides of legs carved with pendant husks on upper portion; rear legs square in section, tapering and flaring to rear. (The chair with black horsehair covering is it original covering, the other is a later replacement)

Woods: ash seat rails, white pine corner blocks.
Provenance:These two chairs are part of a larger set which was apparently once owned by Robert Fulton. Although they are not identified as such in the Sanders papers, they are illustrated in a book published in 1899 next to the washstand (1964-502) which according to tradition was owned by Fulton. According to another account, one room in the house contained furniture owned by Fulton. This Fulton tradition is further reinforced by the existence of two other chairs from the same set owned by Doctors C. Ray and Winifred Hope Franklin. According to the owners the chairs were purchased from one of Robert Fulton's direct descendents who stated: "These chairs were owned by Robert Fulton, whose wife was a Livingston, and came to me through my maternal grandmother, Helen Livingston ten Broeck. Helen Livingston Ten Broeck may have been a sister to Jane Livingston Ten Broeck (1826-1896) who married Charles P. Sanders I, and thus CW 1964-257, may indeed have once been owned by Robert Fulton.