Chair. 1884. Cow horn; wood; cloth upholstery. [Exotic or Novelty furniture] Acc. No. 29995
Description: Legs and arms use cow horn as a novelty material. Round seat and skirt are completely upholstered in dark reddish-purple plush, as is back. A cloth strip, now filed with the catalogue card but once attached to underside of chair reads: "F P Bush / Upholsterer Leominster / Mass / 1884" and "Georgetown / So. Ca." Currently on exhibit in the Collections Gallery of the Main Gallery.
Discussion: Such intentionally unusual furniture was made in the western United States for the most part. Records indicate that Boston was, in a small way, an eastern center of this "rustic" type of furniture design. Elk antlers and untrimmed logs also were used during this same period to make novelty chairs.
- Bishop, Robert C. The American Chair: Three Centuries of Style. New York: Dutton, 1972.
- (See esp. pp. 412-13)
- Butler, Joseph T. Field Guide to American Antique Furniture. New York: Henry Holt, 1986.
- (See esp. p. 148)
- Schwartz, Marvin D. Furniture: Chairs, Tables, Sofas, and Beds (The Knopf Collectors'
- Guides to American Antiques) New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982. (See esp. p. 152)