Collections › MESDA Collection › Armchair


Place Made:
Talbot County or Anne Arundel County Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
pine –oak –paint
HOA 42 1/2″; WOA 27″;LOA 37″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Armchair with shaped arms that curve over the front posts; four banisters between shaped crest and stay rails; crest rail features an acorn finial; turned back posts also have acorn finials; two of the acorn finials are original; two original turned stretchers remain between legs on the left and right of the chair; one original turned stretcher remains between the back legs; one original ornately turned stretcher remains on the front; paint remnants on rocker bars (now removed), chair arms, banisters, and backrest.

This great chair was found on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It bears close resemblance to another early Maryland armchair owned by the South River Club, a social organization established near Annapolis in the early 18th century.

CONSERVATION: During its period of use the chair lost height, and in the 19th century was converted into a rocking chair. When the rockers were removed clear evidence was discovered for the lowest side and back lists. Close comparison with other chairs from this period strongly suggested that there had once also been an additional turned front list. These missing elements were recreated by conservator Martin O’Brien.

Purchased at a Goldsborough family estate sale in Talbot County, Maryland, in the 1990s, this chair was likely originally owned by Nicholas Goldsborough (1689-1766) of Easton, Maryland, in Talbot County. His 1769 estate inventory itemizes, among other chairs, “one arm chair 7..6”. This arm chair falls into the price range of other rush bottom chairs of the time and could likely be the chair in question
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. Dale L. Couch in honor of Thomas A. Gray