Collections › MESDA Collection › Armchair


Place Made:
Charleston South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
mahogany –ash –yellow pine
HOA 36 1/4; WOA 23 1/2; DOA 17 13/16
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Square back armchair: Has draped pierced urn splat topped with Prince of Wales feathers which extend into crest rail; fanned feathers in corner of crest rail; beading outlines the arm supports, arms, stiles, and rails; shallowly carved leaves on arms where arms meet back stiles; tapered spade feet (front); slightly splayed back feet; seat rails are ash; diagonal front corner braces of yellow pine.

UPHOLSTERY: The chair was re-upholstered in 1994 using reproduction horsehair fabric and brass tacks. The reproduction fabric was obtained from John Boyd Textiles, Ltd., a company in Castle Cary, Somerset, England, that has been producing horsehair fabrics since 1837.

STYLE: Design for back splat taken from plate XXXVI (No. 1) in Thomas Sheraton’s THE CABINETMAKER AND UPHOLSTERER’S DRAWING BOOK (London, 1793). Sheraton refers to the chairs in this plate as “parlour chairs.”

The chair originally belonged to Daniel Elliott Huger (1779-1854) and his wife Isabella Johannes Middleton (1780-1865), who were married on November 26, 1800 and lived in the Daniel Elliott Huger House at 34 Meeting Street in Charleston. It descended from their daughter Sabina Elliott (Huger) Lowndes (1811-1874) to her granddaughter Caroline Hampton (Lowndes) Mullally (1871-1963). An identical armchair with Huger family provenance is in the collection of the Georgia Museum of Art. A chair from this set is also illustrated in a photograph of the second-floor drawing room of 34 Meeting Street published in Alice Ravenel Huger Smith’s book, EARLY DWELLING HOUSES OF CHARLESTON (1917).

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund