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Side Chair

A work made of ash, white pine, white oak, painted decoration, and upholstery.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of ash, white pine, white oak, painted decoration, and upholstery.


c. 1816


Maker unknown
Painted decoration by John Philip Fondé (1794–1831)

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.


On View, Gallery 172


Arts of the Americas


John Philip Fondé


Side Chair


Philadelphia (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. 1816


Ash, white pine, white oak, painted decoration, and upholstery


81.3 × 40 cm (32 × 15 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of James Biddle

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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