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Side chair, splat-back

1740-1755
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
OH: 39"; OD: 20 1/4"; OW: 21"
Black walnut and yellow pine
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1958-616,1
Appearance: consists of rectangular back with reverse S-curve stiles; stiles beaded on outer edges, and rounded on back; splat unpierced and shaped in a baluster form featuring scrolled ears; rear edges beveled; coved and molded shoe; serpentine crest rail featuring incised beading on the outer edge, a rounded back, and carved ears; trapezoidal slip seat; scalloped front seat rail; side and rear rails are undecorated. Each front leg possesses a top post with rounded corners; legs are cariole in form and feature cleft knees, trifid feet, and ogee knee brackets; rear legs curve outward and are chamfered on all 4 edges; H-plan stretchers horizontally shaped.

Construction: all elements solid walnut (except mortise and tenon slip seat frames of yellow pine); front, side, and rear seat rails tenoned into legs (there are no through tenons on rear legs); 2 securing pins present at each of these joints; front stretcher tenoned into side stretchers which are in turn tenoned into front and rear legs; 4 knee brackets, each secured with 2 rosehead nails; splat tenoned into both crest rail and shoe; scrolled ears of splat applied with butt joints; shoe secured with 2 square head nails; stiles tenoned into crest rail and secured with 2 pins.
Label:William Savery attached his printed label to this side chair advertising that the buyer could procure "All Sorts of Chairs and / Joiners Work / Made and Sold by / William Savery, / At the Sign of the / Chair, a little be- / low the Market, in / Second Street, / Philadelphia." Philadelphia chairmakers competed with imported furniture from New England by producing stylish chairs at reasonable prices.