This square-back armchair is one of a set of twelve chairs made for the parlor of the Peirce-Nichols house on Federal Street in Salem, Massachusetts. In 1801, the architect Samuel McIntire was commissioned by Jerathamael Peirce, Salem merchant and shipowner, to remodel the parlor. While McIntire, who was charged with the complete decorative program of the house including the interior, relied on Sheraton's published patterns for the design of this armchair; it is possible, being a carver, that he executed the carved bowknots, bellflowers, and punched-snowflake background, one of his favorite details. The design of the chair is derived from plate 33 of Thomas Sheraton's “Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book” (London, 1793).
Jerathamael Pierce, Salem, Massachusetts; descended in the Pierce-Nichols family; Mrs. William B. Nichols, Syosset, New York, until 1945