Attributed to Thomas Affleck (British, active in America, 17401795)
Mahogany, white oak; 43 x 28 1/4 x 30 in. (109.2 x 71.8 x 76.2 cm)
Purchase, Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage and The Sylmaris Collection, Gift of George Coe Graves, by exchange; Robert G. Goelet Gift; and funds from various donors, 1959 (59.154)
This stately upholstered-back armchair is one of a set of chairs believed to have been commissioned by John Penn, grandson of the founder of Pennsylvania and the colony's new lieutenant governor, from the immigrant London craftsman Thomas Affleck. The overall design is based upon two "French Chairs" pictured in plate 19 of the third edition of Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1762, 1982.1133). The motifs on the legs and arms of this chair are adapted with little change from the left-hand illustration in that plate. The chair's dimensions, especially its height, are somewhat greater than those recommended by Chippendale. The crest rail's serpentine curve with projecting points, while unusual on a chair, is a shape often found on Philadelphia camel-back sofas.