Collections › MESDA Collection › Armchair


Place Made:
Albemarle Sound Region North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
walnut, paint
HOA 43; WOA 23 1/4; Arms 24 1/4
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Armchair: Has four heavily arched back slats; front and rear posts have incised lines; mortise and tenon joint exposed on right arm; two turned strechers on the front, two straight stretchers on each side, and one straight stretcher in back with incised lines; black paint.

CONSTRUCTION: The slats and arms were rived, an unusual procedure for walnut (see also the clothes press in Criss Cross, Acc. 2024.1). Evidence of the turner’s gouge remains on many surfaces, and the rived faces of the slats are quite apparent. This chair shows a good deal less finish than comparable northern examples of this period.

STYLE: This chair differs from New England work in that it lacks the usual decorative round below the arms, and the heavy ring turnings of the back posts were not repeated between the arms and the seat-rail. The arms are bolder in concept, and the upper turnings of the front posts seem almost Mannerist in form, having a distinctly seventeenth-century appearance.

WOODS: Walnut with undetermined base rounds.

This arm chair has a piedmont North Carolina history, but was probably made in the Albemarle. This attribution is based on the fact that the chair is entirely of walnut except for the base rounds. The extensive use of walnut for turned furniture in the Albemarle, much in contrast with New England, may be due to the fact that there was little hard maple available to turners in the region.
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. G. Wilson Douglas, Jr.