Side chair

Attributed to Elbert Anderson, New York, New York
Date: 1790-1800
Maker: Attributed to Elbert Anderson, New York, New York
Materials: Mahogany, beech, maple and satinwood
Credit: Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase
Accession Number: 1984.9.2

This elegant and distinctive chair, attributed to the New York City cabinet-maker Elbert Anderson, is part of a group of matching chairs with a history of having belonged to Elizabeth and Alexander Hamilton and used at the Grange, their home in upper Manhattan. The chair’s simple form is embellished with intricately inlaid festoons of bellflowers, floral sprays and a fan. The Hamiltons hosted many of New York’s leading citizens at large dinner parties and would therefore have purchased a set of at least eighteen or as many as twenty four chairs to be used at the Grange. The Albany Institute is fortunate to own two of these chairs; other examples from this set are in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York State Museum and the Winterthur Museum. When Hamilton Grange was undergoing restoration (2006-2011), the National Park Service contracted with the firm of Fallon & Wilkinson to replicate the chairs for the dining room instead of arranging for long-term loans from all of the museums.