Philadelphia Classical Chair Link

Philadelphia Empire Chair MET WPL

Philadelphia Classical Chair

Photo Metropolitan Museum

This chair model is probably one of the most familiar pieces of American painted furniture; originally from a set of 16, it is featured in many books, and a few from the set are on display in prominent museums. When I first saw it, I was captivated, and wanted to create one for myself.* After producing a pair, a client saw them and commissioned a set of 12 for her dining room. The photo below shows the completed set, together with the first pair:

14 Philadelphia Classical Chairs WPL

At the same time as the 12 frames were built for the custom order, I also had another pair built for myself. The beautiful simplicity of the form seemed to allow for a variety of Classical treatments. I had a few ideas in mind, the results can be seen in the following photo:

3 Philadelphia Classical Chairs WPL

* Note: The original chairs have a band of carved and gilded leaf ornament under the seat rail. I omitted this element from my own chairs, simply for personal preference.

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