Armchair (one of a pair)
Early Neoclassical (Sheraton) style, 1790-1810
England/Baltimore; repainting attributed to John and Hugh Finlay
Painted furniture was popular at Hampton from the time Charles Carnan Ridgely (1760-1829) purchased a suite of white and gilt painted seating furniture in New York in 1797. Around the same time, he also acquired a set of painted armchairs of English manufacture, two of which survive in the Hampton collection. Governor Ridgely had the chairs repainted within a decade or two of their manufacture. The design of this second layer of paint clearly indicates that the repainting was done in Baltimore, probably by the firm of John and Hugh Finlay, who were to be long-term suppliers of “fancy” furniture, as it was then called, to the Ridgely family.
Notably, one of the chairs has a view of Hampton painted on its crest rail. Later in the 19th century when this style of painted furniture had become unfashionable, Margaretta Ridgely (1824-1904) had the chair’s legs cut down and the frame upholstered and slip covered. In this state, the chair was used in both the Great Hall and the Music Room, as shown by historic photographs.
Beech and other woods. H 78.8, W 57.5, D 49 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 3921