Artist/maker unknown, American

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America


Walnut; yellow poplar

42 1/2 x 27 x 22 1/2 inches (108 x 68.6 x 57.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 102, American Art, first floor (Flammer Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Thomas Skelton Harrison Fund, 1955

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This armchair descended in the Powel family of Philadelphia; it is thought that it originally belonged to Samuel Powel, Sr. (1673-1756).

During the late 1740s and 1750s, chairmakers further developed the form and ornamentation of the cabriole-leg, compass-seat chair. They decorated the curved, scroll-cut back slat with carved scroll volutes or with pierced designs, anticipating the lighter proportions, verticality, and ornamentation of the coming Rococo style. These elaborations continued until chairmakers abandoned the compass-seat shape for trapezoidal seat frames.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.