Chair, Arm. Circa 1880–1915. Wood, cherry; cloth upholstery; metal springs [Colonial Revival style] Acc. No. 91M.19.10
Description: Metal casters on all four legs. Front legs are round with turned elements. Square back legs. Serpentine seat rails with a type of dentil molding in the center as a decoration. Upholstered seat. Arm rests supported by six square (not turned) spindles, which in turn support a gallery with an "S" scroll on its side and four small turned spindles. The end of the armrest has a turned conical decoration which is also used at the ends of the crest rail. The back of the chair has five large square spindles supporting a gallery with seven small turned spindles. The crest rail has realistic relief carved decorative leaf motifs (ivy?) along its top. The upholstery is likely a replacement, circa 1940s. Clear finish on the wood has darkened with age and use.
Discussion: Although the design of this chair is original, it owes something to the Windsor chair of the American colonial period. At the Philadelphia Centennial of 1876, colonial items became popular, and since then Colonial Revival furniture design has been popular. At times the revival style imitated the real colonial styles very closely, but more often the elements of colonial style were freely, and often very imaginatively, adapted to modern usage (think of a Queen Anne style radio cabinet for example). This particular piece was owned by members of the Lewis family of bankers in Tallahassee near the beginning of the century. When the first owners sold their house, members of the Choate family in town then purchased the parlor suite that included this piece, and it remained in the family until its donation in 1991. Not currently on exhibit.