Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Embroidered Chair Back

Embroidered Chair Back
Chair Back

Artist/maker unknown, English

Made in England, Europe

c. 1720

Linen with wool and silk embroidery in tent and cross stitches

27 3/16 x 23 7/16 inches (69 x 59.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Sarah McLean Williams in memory of Mrs. William L. McLean, 1942

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Tea, introduced in Britain from China in the mid-seventeenth century, had become the drink of choice over coffee and chocolate by the eighteenth century. Tea drinking connoted both social cachet and economic affluence, since tea was expensive to buy and required special equipment. Handleless tea bowls and small tea tables, shown in the center of this chair back, would have been among the paraphernalia used. Thus, the chair back’s design may not only have spoken to its owner’s penchant for tea drinking but also to his or her elevated social and economic status.