GROUP: Perhaps best described as a low-backed chair, this example is one of three such chairs from the same shop. The trapezoidal seat rather than the square seat of a corner chair appears to be unique to the Perquimans area. Construction details common to the school are found in this chair: the wedge-shaped seat supports are nailed in place; the crest is rabbeted at the sides to receive the arms. Four common side chairs have also been attributed to this shop. Like the armchair, these examples have lobate splat piercings in the George II style, though the patterns differ from that found in the armchair.
The Quaker cabinetmaker Thomas White made a desk in the MESDA Collection (Acc. 3250) for Sarah’s father, Thomas Newby (1725-1793), a prominent Quaker merchant. Newby’s account book at North Carolina State Archives documents his patronage of the two leading Quaker cabinetmakers in the area, Thomas White and John Sanders. This chair possibly represents the Sanders cabinetmaking group, which included the work of John Sanders (c.1735-1777) and his younger brother Benjamin Sanders (c.1740-1795), as well as their apprentices Josiah Murdaugh (1759-c.1830) and Thomas Newby (c. 1760-1791).