Turned Great Chair

Unidentified maker, probably New York City or vicinity
Date: 1700-1728
Maker: Unidentified maker, probably New York City or vicinity
Dimensions: 50 1/2 H x 23 W (seat) x 18 D (seat)
Materials: Maple, ash, cherry; painted
Credit: Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase, Rockwell Fund
Accession Number: 1984.43
Comments: This early baroque style great chair (or large arm chair) is a fine and rare example of a major branch of the chair-maker's art in colonial America. It also reflects the period of complex social change in which it was made, a time when Dutch cultural influence was declining and British influence was increasing. This chair's style is based on a Continental European turned chair but influenced by the growing popularity of imported English William and Mary-style cane chairs. It shows an excellent example of the turner's art, with the back enlivened by paired rows of elongated spindles that give a sense of movement to the overall design. Only about a dozen of these early spindle-turned chairs are known.