Mahogany with oak, yellow poplar, yellow pine, maple
36 3/4 x 20 x 20 in. (93.3 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm)
Bequest of Flora E. Whiting, 1971
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 724
Furniture historians debate whether this chair and its companion (1971.180.17) originated in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, or South Carolina. Although the molded front legs, stretchers, and serpentine-front saddle seats are more frequently found in Philadelphia seating furniture, the secondary woods used in the seat frame-yellow pine and oak-are more typical of a southern locale. The design of this chair's back was taken directly from George Hepplewhite's "The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide" (1788). Carved chairs with upholstery over the rail were formal enough for a parlor setting, but the durable horsehair cover made them suitable for use in the dining room as well. This chair and its companion form a set with ten straight-front side chairs (1971.180.18–.27).
Captain John Singleton, Sumter County, South Carolina; his great-granddaughter, Rebecca Singleton Gilmer, Charlottesville, Virginia; Mrs. Giles (Flora E.) Whiting, Scarborough, New York, by died 1971