National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Side Chair Side Chair
Rendered by Michael Trekur (artist), 1936
watercolor, colored pencil, pen and ink and some heightening on paperboard
overall: 30 x 22.8 cm (11 13/16 x 9 in.) Original IAD Object: none given
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Furniture from the Index of American Design
Object 22 of 26

While shield and heart-shaped chair backs are commonly associated with the Hepplewhite style, Sheraton chairs frequently feature a square back. Sheraton chair backs were carved in a variety of ornamental motifs including drapery swags, urns, pointed arches, colonettes, fans, and rosettes. This square-back New York side chair strongly resembles a plate from the 1794 edition of Sheraton's Drawing Book but differs from the original pattern in that the central urn shape is pierced. The use of the feather motif and the tapering straight leg, frequently seen in Hepplewhite designs, demonstrates the interrelatedness of the two styles. Notice that the tapered leg is finely grooved, creating a paneled effect unlike the smooth surface of Hepplewhite forms. The carved detail of this chair is exceptionally crisp and refined and is thus very much in keeping with the clear, clean lines of the form.

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