American Decorative Arts

Fan-back windsor armchair


Crest rail, spindles, white oak; seat, white pine; stiles, arms, arm supports, legs, and stretchers, beech

43 1/4 x 21 1/4 x 20 in. (109.9 x 54 x 50.8 cm) other (Seat): 17 1/4 in.(43.8 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
This classic New England fan-back Windsor chair features a very tall back strengthened by bracing spindles, snaking arms attached to the unusually long round sections of the rear posts, and a commodious oval seat. Windsor chairs with these characteristics are often said to be made on Nantucket, and this one has a history of having been owned on the neighboring island, Martha’s Vineyard. It belonged to Obadiah Pease (1743–1831) of Edgartown.
18th century
Made in Nantucket, Massachusetts
Owned in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
By appointment

According to tradition, ownded by Captain Obediah Pease (1743-1831), Edgartown, Mass.; descended to Maria Thurston Pease; Laura M. Pease; Charles W. Lyon, New York, N.Y.; Francis P. Garvan, New York, N.Y. (1919); The Mabel Brady Garvan Collection.


Meyric R. Rogers, “The Mabel Brady Garvan Collection of Furniture,” Yale Alumni Magazine 25, no. 4 (January 1962): 13, ill.

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), 142, fig. 144.

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), 199-200, no. 178, ill.

Charles F. Montgomery and Patricia E. Kane, eds., American Art: 1750–1800 Towards Independence, exh. cat. (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976), 168–69, fig. 121.

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.