M976.199.1 | Chair

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About 1875, 19th century
84.5 x 56.3 x 54.7 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Chair (31)
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Keys to History

Oriental detailing is also evident in later chairs, such as this finely decorated upholstered seat from the last quarter of the 19th century. The front legs resemble those of chairs made in both China and Japan. Edward William Godwin designed a Japanese sideboard in 1867 Europe, renewing a trend towards the light mimicry of Oriental ware. Due to increased interest in Orientalism after the Japanese court show at the 1862 London International Exhibition, furniture and interiors both begin to incorporate adaptations of Far Eastern designs. Polychromatic treatments, turnings as well as square-profiled stretchers, buttoned-cushion upholstery and floral carvings are all featured in this chair that has something from every new fashion in it. Comfortable, eye-catchingly colourful and exotically Oriental, this item embodies one aspect of taste in 1870s eastern Canada.

Source : Crowding the Parlour [Web tour], by Jane Cook, McGill University (see Links)

  • What

    This is a parlour side chair with cushioned seat and back. A Far Eastern influence can be seen in the squared front legs, latticework and decoration resembling chrysanthemums.

  • Where

    The source of this chair and its history of use are both unknown.

  • When

    This style was popular in the last quarter of the 19th century.

  • Who

    No information is known to exist regarding who made or used this chair.