Collections › MESDA Collection › Armchair


Place Made:
Pasquotank County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
maple –walnut –ash or hickory
HOA: 41; WOA: 23 1/2; DOA: 17 3/4
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Double arched top slat with two arched slats below; back posts end in double flattened ball finials; two front stretchers have heavy reel turnings, two on sides and back are plain; turned arms overpass front turned posts; maple arms, posts, and front stretchers, walnut slats, the other base rounds of undetermined ring-porous wood such as ash or hickory; woven rush seat; retains what appears to be its original Spanish brown paint covered by a later film of varnish.

RELATED OBJECTS: The compressed vase turning below the seat rail on the front legs is related to a lower Chesapeake–possibly Virginia–child’s chair in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery.

DATE: Due to the quasi-architectural nature of the turnings, this chair is difficult to date; other lower Chesapeake furniture with similar naiveté presents similar problems of dating. The large diameter of the posts, in comparison with other Carolina chairs, suggest the first-quarter 18th century.

This chair descended in the family of Col. Selby Harney (1749-1799) of Pasquotank County, North Carolina. Born in Delaware, Harney was a mariner who settled as a young man in North Carolina, married Luranah Paddrick on 23 July 1774, and became a prominent military leader during the American Revolution. After the war, he received a large grant for land in Sumner County, Tennessee, but the majority of his descendants remained in Pasquotank County.
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. W. Selby Harney