John H. Belter (American, born Germany, 1804–1863; firm active New York City, 1844–66)
44 1/4 x 17 1/2 x 16 1/2 in. (112.4 x 44.5 x 41.9 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Ross Burch and Miss Jean McLean Morron, 1951 (51.79.9)
This delicate chair, with its intricately pierced back carved with grapes on the vine, is one of the most delightfully fanciful examples of the Rococo Revival style in the Museum's collection. Furniture like this was described at the time it was made as being in "the modern French style" because it borrowed elements from the eighteenth-century Rococo, such as curvaceous cabriole legs, and carved designs based on C- and S-curves. This chair came to the Museum as part of a large suite of furniture. Rococo Revival parlor suites, which often consisted of two sofas, two armchairs, several side chairs, a center table, and an étagère, were de rigueur for the parlor in almost any American home in the middle decades of the nineteenth century.