High-Back Windsor Armchair

Artist/maker unknown, American

Geography:
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

Date:
1750-70

Medium:
Painted hardwoods

Dimensions:
43 x 24 3/4 x 22 inches (109.2 x 62.9 x 55.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1928-7-111

Credit Line:
Gift of Lydia Thompson Morris, 1928

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    The broad stance, graceful proportions, and crisp turnings of this armchair, made for a member of the Morris family of Philadelphia, are typical of the fully developed Windsor style produced during the mid-eighteenth century by Philadelphia craftsmen, whose continual experimentation and refinement insured the city's leadership in the evolution of this furniture form in colonial America. Windsor chairs of this type were first popular in Great Britain during the reign of George I (1714--27), most often as fashionable furnishings in formal gardens. Their mixed woods were painted (usually green), which united the various structural elements aesthetically and protected them from the weather. This pattern of usage seems to have been transferred to the colonies, specifically to Philadelphia, where inventories document the use of imported Windsor chairs (so called from their use at Windsor Castle) in both interior and exterior domestic spaces. The earliest advertisement for a Philadelphia-made Windsor was placed in 1748 by David Chambers, whose chairs probably had the high spindle back, turned legs and arm supports, and wide saddle seat seen here. Jack L. Lindsey, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 259.