William Savery ( American, 1721 - 1787 )

c. 1745–1760
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General Description

This chair, with its turned stretchers joining the legs, baluster-shaped turnings under the arms, and woven rush seat, suggests earlier chairmaking traditions. A less expensive alternative to Philadelphia's elaborately carved mahogany chairs, examples such as this were typically enlivened by the application of a brown, black, orange, or red color, as the buyer preferred. This chair was likely colored a dark reddish brown originally. Chairmaker Solomon Fussel and his apprentice William Savery established a long tradition in Philadelphia for reasonably priced chairs.

Excerpt from

Kevin W. Tucker, DMA unpublished material, Label text (1985.B.23), 2006.

Fun Facts

This rush-bottomed, inexpensive chair was the most popular model in 18th century Philadelphia households, and the most commonly listed seating form in Philadelphia inventories until the 1780s and 1790s.