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Wainscot Chair

Decorative Arts

On View: Decorative Art, Schenck Gallery, 4th Floor
In seventeenth-century America, the armchair acted as a throne, supporting the status of the most important person in a gathering—the chairman. Most people sat on stools or benches. With this chair, comfort is not the purpose. The hard, straight back requires sitting up straight, the carved crest frames the head like a crown, and the placement of the hands on the armrests gives the sitter a pose of formal power.
CULTURE American
MEDIUM Painted oak
  • Possible Place Made: Massachusetts, United States
  • DATES second half 17th century
    DIMENSIONS 48 1/8 x 26 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. (122.2 x 67.9 x 59.7 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS unmarked
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Decorative Art, Schenck Gallery, 4th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 51.158
    CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION American. Wainscot Chair, second half 17th century. Painted oak, 48 1/8 x 26 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. (122.2 x 67.9 x 59.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 51.158. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, prop51.158_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, reproduction chair, prop51.158_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Armchair with paneled back and set. Crest with scrolling pediment over stylized leaf and arch motif. Two rectangular panels with stylized floral motives framed with moldings. Molded set with turned front legs terminating in modified ball feet. Plain stretchers and plain rectangular straight back legs.
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