Side Chair

Gilbert Ash (1717-1785), New York City
Date: c. 1770
Maker: Gilbert Ash (1717-1785), New York City
Dimensions: 38 1/2 H x 21 1/2 W (seat) x 17 D
Materials: Mahogany, yellow poplar, and sycamore

Inscribed in pencil on inside of back seat rail: Made by Gilbert Ash in Wall Stre[?] at / New York

Credit: Gift of the estate of Edward Sampson, widower of Katharine Van Rensselaer Arnold Sampson
Accession Number: 1978.16.1.1

As one of a handful of examples of signed Chippendale-style furniture from New York, this chair is a cornerstone in the study of New York furniture. The 1932 discovery of the signature of New York City cabinetmaker Gilbert Ash on a chair from this set helped establish the characteristics of eighteenth-century cabinetmaking in New York City. It has handsome proportions and is elegant in overall effect, yet look closer and you'll see that the carving is poorly executed and the interior construction roughly finished.