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Side Chair

A work made of maple and leather.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of maple and leather.




Artist unknown (American, 18th century)
Newport, Rhode Island or Boston

About this artwork

The reindeer hide that conservators used to reupholster this side chair in a period manner was salvaged from the Danish brigantine Frau Metta Catharina. Filled with hemp and leather from St. Petersburg, the ship sank off the coast of England in December 1786, and the cargo remained preserved in the mud of Plymouth Sound for nearly 200 years. Russian leather was readily available in the American colonies in the early 18th century and was favored for its flexible, rot- and insect-resistant surface. Here, stitches were threaded from the underside of the chair up through the leather. This technique, called double-stuff stitching, prevented the grass stuffing from shifting and formed a small well in the seat so that the cushions would stay in place. The felt tabs under the linen thread kept the stitching from tearing through the leather at its weakest points, the corners.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Americas


Artist unknown


Side Chair


Newport (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1722–1744


Maple and leather


106.8 × 48.2 × 36.8 cm (42 × 19 × 14 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Antiquarian Society through Susan and Richard M. Bennett

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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