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Side Chair (one of a pair with 64.153.1)

Decorative Arts and Design

These New York–made chairs are both indebted to the French Rococo style of the mid-eighteenth century, but one is traditionally made and the other incorporates inventive production processes. John Belter’s patented laminated, bent-plywood chair departs further from the eighteenth-century model than the hand-carved Bembé & Kimbel one, suggesting that new production techniques inspired Belter to greater originality and freedom in design. Belter’s chairs became highly fashionable and were made and purchased in great numbers. It seems that by the 1850s consumers were more ready to embrace innovation—particularly in the service of conservative revivalism—than they had been in the early nineteenth century.
MEDIUM Rosewood, modern upholstery
DATES ca. 1855
DIMENSIONS 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm) Seat: 15 1/2 x 18 1/4 x 17 3/4 in. (39.4 x 46.4 x 45.1 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Charles S. Jenney
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Attributed to John Henry Belter (American, born Germany, 1804–1863). Side Chair (one of a pair with 64.153.1), ca. 1855. Rosewood, modern upholstery, 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Charles S. Jenney, 64.153.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 64.153.2_print_bw_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 64.153.2_print_bw_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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