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Side Chair

A work made of maple and leather.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of maple and leather.

Date:

1722/44

Artist:

Artist unknown
American, 18th century
Newport, Rhode Island or Boston

About this artwork

The reindeer hide that conservators used to reupholster this side chair in a period manner was salvaged from the Danish brigantine Frau Metta Catharina. Filled with hemp and leather from St. Petersburg, the ship sank off the coast of England in December 1786, and the cargo remained preserved in the mud of Plymouth Sound for nearly 200 years. Russian leather was readily available in the American colonies in the early 18th century and was favored for its flexible, rot- and insect-resistant surface. Here, stitches were threaded from the underside of the chair up through the leather. This technique, called double-stuff stitching, prevented the grass stuffing from shifting and formed a small well in the seat so that the cushions would stay in place. The felt tabs under the linen thread kept the stitching from tearing through the leather at its weakest points, the corners.

On View

American Art, Gallery 165

Artist

Artist unknown

Title

Side Chair

Origin

Newport

Date

c. 1722–1744

Medium

Maple and leather

Dimensions

106.8 × 48.2 × 36.8 cm (42 × 19 × 14 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Antiquarian Society through Susan and Richard M. Bennett

Reference Number

1990.396

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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