American Decorative Arts

Side Chair


Mahogany, yellow-poplar

39 3/4 x 16 7/8 x 16 7/8 in. (101 x 42.9 x 42.9 cm) other (Seat): 17 7/16 x 21 3/16 in.(44.3 x 53.8 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
This chair is a classic example of a Philadelphia Georgian-style chair. The fluted stiles frame the interlaced pierced splat. The scrolled, chip-carved ears provide a visual end point to the crest rail. Some of the surface decoration draws its inspiration from nature: shells punctuate the crest rail and the skirt; leaf carving decorates the knees; and claws with dramatic tendons and knobby knuckles firmly grasp the ball feet.
18th century
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
By appointment

William W. Smith, Hartford, Conn.; Charles W. Lyon, New York, N.Y.; Francis P. Garvan, New York, N.Y.; The Mabel Brady Garvan Collection.


Edward Warwick, “The Source of an American Chippendale Chair,” Antiques 15 no. 3 (March 1929): 215, fig. 7.

John T. Kirk, “Early American Furniture: High-style, Country, Primitive, and Rustic,” Antiques 98 (September 1970): 428–29, fig. 1.

John T. Kirk, Early American Furniture: How to Recognize, Evaluate, and Care for the Most Beautiful Pieces: High Style, Country, Primitive and Rustic (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), 61, 123, fig. 46, 113.

John T. Kirk, American Chairs: Queen Anne and Chippendale (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972), 80, fig. 69.

Patricia E. Kane, 300 Years of American Seating Furniture Chairs and Beds from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976), btwn104-5, 133-4, no. 112, fig. Pt. 7.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.