Side Chairs

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Late Federal style, 1810-1825
Baltimore; possible attribution to William Camp

Around 1810, Gov. Charles Carnan Ridgely began to update the furnishings in Hampton’s Dining Room, principally with pieces acquired from local cabinetmakers. Among his important acquisitions was a large set of chairs considered to be the finest examples of Baltimore-made mahogany side chairs of the period.¬† They ¬†differ from the more typical late Federal chairs by the addition of finely carved leaves on the crest rail and at the top of the stiles.

The Hampton chairs match a published description of “rich carved” Grecian chairs made by Baltimore’s leading cabinetmaker William Camp for another client about the same time (c. 1815). Ridgely archives document a number of purchases by Gov. Charles Carnan Ridgely from Camp’s shop, possibly including these chairs. Probably about the same time, the governor also acquired a very similar but less elaborate set of chairs that are closely related in design to many other known sets of Baltimore-made chairs of this period. The chair on the left is one of a set of 12, and on the right, one of a set of six.

Mahogany. H 83, W 49, D 42 cm; H 80.5, W 47.5, D 42.5 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 4096, HAMP 1137