Side Chair (one of nine)

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Federal style, 1785-1800

This chair is part of a large set with Ridgely family history that dates from the period of the construction of the house (1783-1790) and thus may have been purchased by Capt. Charles Ridgely, “The Builder” (1733-1790). Chairs from this set and another of very similar design appear in photos from the historic period, used in different ┬álocations throughout the house. The unusual shape of the back, a design feature unique to Maryland made chairs, is referred to today as a “modified shield back.” In the Federal period, it was probably called an urn back, a reference to the design source in the arts of classical antiquity.

Mahogany. H 97.5, W 51.4, D 44 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 19963