About this artwork
This side chair is one of a set of 10 made for Major David Lenox’s summer home in Bristol, Pennsylvania. The painted decoration, by Philadelphia sign painter John Philip Fondé, is meant to resemble maple, reflecting the popularity of maple and satinwood Neoclassical furniture. In addition, ornamentation imitating ormolu mounts and metal inlay enhances visual interest, providing a contrast between matte and polished surfaces. The dramatic curves of the tablet back, rear saber legs, and stiles resemble ancient Greek klismos chairs, while the turned front legs are derived from Roman prototypes. Such an interest in archaeological furniture characterized the classical taste of the period.The chair’s original upholstery has been replaced with accurate period fabric.
- John Philip Fondé
- Side Chair
- c. 1816
- Ash, white pine, white oak, and painted decoration
- 81.3 × 40 cm (32 × 15 3/4 in.)
- Gift of James Biddle