Decorative Arts and Design
In seventeenth-century America, the armchair acted as a throne, supporting the status of the most important person in a gathering—the chairman. Most people sat on stools or benches. With this chair, comfort is not the purpose. The hard, straight back requires sitting up straight, the carved crest frames the head like a crown, and the placement of the hands on the armrests gives the sitter a pose of formal power.
second half 17th century
48 1/8 x 26 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. (122.2 x 67.9 x 59.7 cm) (show scale)
Dick S. Ramsay Fund
Armchair with paneled back and set. Crest with scrolling pediment over stylized leaf and arch motif. Two rectangular panels with stylized floral motives framed with moldings. Molded set with turned front legs terminating in modified ball feet. Plain stretchers and plain rectangular straight back legs.
This item is not on view
American. Wainscot Chair, second half 17th century. Painted oak, 48 1/8 x 26 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. (122.2 x 67.9 x 59.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 51.158. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.51.158.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
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