On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
These two mahogany chairs—from Mexico and Pennsylvania, respectively—are indebted to the same design source, the Rococo furniture popularized in England by Thomas Chippendale through his seminal furniture pattern book The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director of 1754. These chairs, and the portraits above, would have been found in formal spaces in the houses of the well-to-do, indicating high social standing. The Philadelphia chair, with its dynamic curves and counter-curves, is a much more expansive interpretation of Chippendale’s style than the more tightly carved and elongated form of the Mexican chair, ultimately reflecting, perhaps, the stricter, hierarchical Spanish American social order.
40 1/4 x 25 1/4 x 17 3/4in. (102.2 x 64.1 x 45.1cm)
Gift of Robert W. Dowling
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Armchair, 1750-1800. Mahogany, upholstery, 40 1/4 x 25 1/4 x 17 3/4in. (102.2 x 64.1 x 45.1cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Robert W. Dowling, 64.243.6. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 64.243.6.jpg)
overall, E145, during treatment, 64.243.6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Armchair. Mahogany, shaped back, scrolled crest above a pierced lace-like splat; flaring, outward scrolled armrests; shaped seat upholstered with red brocade with red floral pattern; curved skirt; front cabriole legs terminating in formalized claw and ball feet, plain curved back legs.
CONDITION: Part of proper left front foot missing; armrests worn and loose; proper left side of rail back broken but is restored; proper right side back rail attached with iron hinge.
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