Attributed to John Jelliff (American, 18131893; firm active Newark, New Jersey, 183690)
Rosewood, ash, mother–of–pearl; 44 1/2 x 28 1/2 x 29 3/8 in. (113 x 72.4 x 74.6 cm)
Gift of Josephine M. Fiala, 1968 (68.133.3)
This armchair and its mate (68.132.2) are part of a suite of furniture from the home of Jedediah Wilcox, who made his fortune during the 1860s as a manufacturer of carpet bags and skirt hoops. These pieces were original to either the house's parlor or the adjoining music room, which is today installed as a period room in the Metropolitan Museum's American Wing. The Wilcox house, built between 1868 and 1870 at 816 Broad Street in Meriden, Connecticut, was demolished in 1968, though many of the interior furnishings and architectural elements were saved. The furniture, lighting fixtures, mantels, and other elements of the house's interior were all carefully designed to match the detailing of the grand mansion, which was described at the time it was built as being an example of "Franco-Italian Villa style." The furniture throughout the house, including grand bedroom suites, was designed in the Renaissance Revival style, and has been attributed to the cabinetmaker John Jelliff based on objects that have been documented to his workshop in Newark, New Jersey.