Collections › MESDA Collection › Side Chair

Side Chair

Place Made:
New Market Shenandoah County Virginia
Date Made:
poplar –hickory or oak –paint
HOA: 32″; WOA: 17 1/2″; DOA: 15″; Seat Height: 17 1/2″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Side chair from New Market Fancy Chair Group: Paint-decorated tablet-top side chair, one of a surviving pair; retains its original green-painted surface with stenciled and brushed decorations of a naturalistic element; tablet top features a floral motif, while the back splat is decorated with an urn filled with fruit and large leaves; turned legs and stretchers feature a gold striping; tablet on the front stretcher is decorated with a shell pattern.

GROUP: According to Jeffrey S. Evans, “This chair . . . represents the most distinctive and regionally evolved fancy chair produced in the Shenandoah Valley. Its boldly shaped front stretcher is derived from similar but notably more delicate examples seen on early nineteenth-century Baltimore fancy shairs.” This chair and others related to it can be found on pp. 71-73 of Jeffrey S. Evans, COME IN AND HAVE A SEAT: VERNACULAR CHAIRS OF THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY, Winchester, VA: Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 2010.

This chair descended in the family of Dr. Solomon (1777-1847) and Rebecca (Miller) Henkel (1780-1857) of New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia. In 1835, their son Siram Peter Henkel (1809-1879) married Margaret Koiner (1820-1899) of Augusta County.

Related objects in the MESDA Collection include copperplate engravings of Solomon Henkel’s parents, the Reverend Paul Henkel and his wife Ellizabeth (Acc. 5550.4a&b), a fraktur for Siram Peter’s brother, Silon Amos Henkel (Acc. 5853), a profile portrait drawn by Silon Amos Henkel (Acc. 5163), a sideboard with a Henkel line of descent (Acc. 3350), and several examples of printed works by the Henkel Press.

Credit Line:
MESDA purchase fund and partial gift of Jeff and Beverley Evans