Rollover image to zoom

Rococo Revival style, 1840-1860

The tete-a-tete and many others of forms of seating furniture of the mid-19th century were derived from French sources. It was available in America by the mid-1840s, and its use documented in Baltimore houses well before 1850. The tete-a-tete made for Hampton’s Drawing Room was one of at least two of this type of small sofa having two chair-backs that were owned at this grand house.  The Drawing Room tete-a-tete is recorded on Charles Ridgely’s 1872 estate inventory as having a value of $40.  This piece is remarkable in having survived with its original crimson red silk damask upholstery intact throughout the 20th century.

Rosewood and other wood. H 101, W 119, D 51 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 1321