Side Chair (one of four)

Rollover image to zoom

Rococo Revival style, 1840-1860

This chair is based on a design in Thomas King’s Specimens of Furniture in the Elizabethan and Louis Quatorze Styles (1835). The appeal of King’s sophisticated, French-inspired work to Francophile Eliza Ridgely is not surprising. Only the wealthiest Baltimoreans chose to purchase side chairs having the medallion-shaped upholstered backs. A number of leading Baltimore cabinetmaking firms of the mid-19th century are possible candidates for having made this chair and the matching pieces.  The Ridgelys patronized several of the top firms at this time including Hiss & Austin, A. & H. Jenkins, John Needles, Robert Renwick, Wesley B. Tarr, John H. Weaver, and J. & J. Williams.  The largest individual accounts recorded at this time include payments of $272 and $345 to Tarr in March 1844 and June 1849 respectively, dates and amounts that would accord with the early Rococo design and elaboration of the pieces.

Rosewood and other woods. H 87.6, W 49.6, D 43.1 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 2942