Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Turkey-work chair

Date:
1680–1700
Geography:
Probably made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Maple, oak
Dimensions:
40 3/4 x 21 x 17 in. (103.5 x 53.3 x 43.2 cm)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Bequest of Mrs. J. Insley Blair, 1951
Accession Number:
52.77.50
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 708
The great rarity of this chair lies in the original wool Turkey-work that covers its seat and back. “Turkeywork” refers to a type of woven fabric with a knotted-and-cut wool pile that was made in England in imitation of Turkish carpets. Used for chairs, cushions, and table coverings, the fabric was exported in matching sets for chairs. Decorative fringe once covered the row of nails around the seat and back. Simple chair frames of this sort were also commonly upholstered in leather or plain wool fabric.
Dr. Irving Whitall Lyon, Hartford, Connecticut, by 1891; his son, Dr. Irving P. Lyon, Buffalo, New York, by 1923; Mrs. J. Insley Blair, Tuxedo Park, New York, 1923–died 1951
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