Hall Chair (one of a pair)

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Renaissance Revival style, 1860-1890

Hall chairs were in use, especially in English houses, as early as the 18th century. They did not come into frequent use in this country, however, until the mid-19th century. Their distinguishing characteristics are tall backs and no upholstery on the seats. The latter was a practical consideration as they were intended for use in entrance halls where visitors coming in from out of doors might have wet clothing that would ruin fabric. This particular chair is carved with a fox head, probably a reference to the Ridgely family’s great interest in fox hunting and other field sports. The chairs can be seen flanking the north door in the Great Hall in historic photographs.

Walnut.  H 147.3, W 56,  D 56.5 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 11962