Side chair

Pottier and Stymus Manufacturing Company

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

This side chair, along with a matching armchair and cabinet, was made for Pottier and Stymus’ display at the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia. This seminal event offered unprecedented exposure to potential patrons and sparked the nation’s preference for the Aesthetic style. Founding partner Auguste Pottier then donated the pieces to the Metropolitan Museum as examples of distinguished contemporary craftsmanship.
During the late 1870s and early 1880s, New York City emerged as the center for the production of luxury furniture, interior woodwork, and decoration. Companies including George A. Schastey & Co., Herter Brothers, Pottier and Stymus Manufacturing Company, and Herts Brothers flourished during this period of unparalleled financial growth. With showrooms and manufactories located in the city’s thriving commercial district at Union Square, they received commissions from wealthy financiers and railroad magnates in New York City and across the country for custom-made furnishings. These full-service firms depended on the skills of highly trained émigré craftsmen, many of whom had fled political strife and economic hardship in regions that compose modern-day France and Germany.

Side chair, Pottier and Stymus Manufacturing Company (active ca. 1858–1918/19), Black walnut, American

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