Decorative Arts and Design
On View: Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
In the mid- and late nineteenth century, designers looked to nature in all its shapes for inspiration. This remarkable chair represents a sea serpent. The highly articulated spine, beginning at the top of the chair with the creature’s tail, forms the seat, while the central pedestal foot depicts the carved, grinning head of the serpent. Wings support the rest of the weight of the chair.
late 19th century
57 x 19 1/2 x 35 1/2 in. (144.8 x 49.5 x 90.2 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce M. Newman
Chair: Chair, wood. Chair is in the form of a sea serpent with central pedestal foot formed by the carved, grinning head of a serpent. Neck curves backward and then forward to seat rail in S-curve. Spine of serpent forms central area of seat and curving upward. Back with scale-like elements with irregular edges flanking spine. At crest rail is a carved, forward-turned tail. Rear feet of chair are modeled as vaguely triangular fins with incised, scrolling lines.
CONDITION: Normal wear and scratches, some separation at joints of wood laminations. Iron strap reinforces neck at base, on interior.
Chair, late 19th century. Wood, 57 x 19 1/2 x 35 1/2 in. (144.8 x 49.5 x 90.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce M. Newman, 1992.205.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.205.4_bw.jpg)
overall, 1992.205.4_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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