Bannister-back Side Chair

Date: 1780 - 1810
Dimensions: width 18.37" height 41" depth 13.75"
About this artifact

Turners used a lathe to produce great numbers of this type of banister-back chair over a long period of time in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and throughout New England. The banisters of this chair are split spindles rather than the simpler slats, and the four banister turnings match the rear posts of the chair. In this example, as in other chairs made in Deerfield, the rounded portion of the baluster is set against the sitter's back. Surviving inventories of chair makers reveal that for efficiency, the craftsman turned out numbers of posts, rails and split balusters before assembling the parts into seating furniture. Because different woods were used for the various parts, the surface was finished with paint. Chairs were a common item in most New England households by the time this chair was made.

Courtesy Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA