Banister–back chair, 1715–35
Northeastern coastal Massachusetts or Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Poplar, maple, ash
47 1/2 x 21 x 15 3/4 in. (120.7 x 53.3 x 40 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Screven Lorillard, 1952 (52.195.8)
This chair epitomizes the attenuated proportions, dynamism, and vertical thrust of early Baroque, or William and Mary, style seating furniture. The back consists of dramatically turned split banisters that were turned on a lathe, split in two, and positioned with the flat side facing the sitter's back. A carved and pierced crest rail continues the vertical sweep of the back while playing off the carved "Spanish" feet that resemble a fluted scroll or an inverted paintbrush.