Collections › MESDA Collection › Arm Chair

Arm Chair

Place Made:
Charleston South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
mahogany, ash, white pine
HOA: 37; WOA: 23
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Arm chair. Shield back with pierced splat and relief work. Ears on crest rail. Short arms that sweep outward; terminate at front with carved rosettes. Plain, tapered legs. Upholstered seat. Beading and grooves on all pieces. H-stretcher. Decorative nails on seat.

WOODS: ash seat frame; white pine cross braces; mahogany back rail.

ATTRIBUTION: It is attributed to Charleston because of the short arms, shallow carving, the form of the bellflowers, and the general construction. However, the stretcher base and the use of white pine are not typical of Charleston.

The chair descended in the Price family of Charleston. William Price (1739-1823) was a British-born merchant in post-Revolutionary Charleston whose second marriage to Rebecca (Hutchinson) Chiffelle on 14 February 1791 cemented his relationship with lowcountry planters. Price represented St. Philip’s & St. Michael’s Parish in the South Carolina Assembly in 1800-1801, and his probate inventory lists a set of “12 Mahogany chairs.” At the time of his death, Price owned a town house in Charleston with 11 slaves and a plantation in St. Bartholomew’s Parish with 172 slaves. According to family tradition, the chair was originally owned by his son, Thomas William Price (d. 1833) who also married into the planter class in 1794. Thomas’s wife, Charlotte Smith, was the daughter of Philip and Elizabeth (Skirving) Smith, who owned over 3000 acres and 214 slaves in St. Bartholomew’s Parish.

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