Naylor Antiques

Early American Furnishings

Baltimore Federal Side Chair, c. 1805


a carved mahogany Sheraton square back side chair; two related “hollow corner” examples can be seen in Gregory Weidman’s Furniture in Maryland, 1740-1940 (items 50 & 51); a set of ten nearly identical chairs owned by the Hodges Family of Darnall’s Chance in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, but employing somewhat less extravagant slip-seats, sold at Sotheby’s in May 2002 (see image below); in excellent condition with no breaks or repairs; retains all four original tulip poplar “English braces”; in only its second upholstery, of black striped horsehair and solid brass, steel shanked tacks; dimensions: 36 1/2″ tall @ crest rail x 20 1/4″ wide @ front rail x 17 1/2″ tall @ front rail



This set of ten (two shown) Federal mahogany dining chairs made in Baltimore circa 1795 are based on designs in Thomas Sheraton’s Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book and George Hepplewhite’s Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide. They have old dry surfaces and rich brown colors. One has extended legs, and others have various repairs. According to family tradition, they were owned by John Hodges (1763-1825) at Darnall’s Chance, his house in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and may be the one dozen mahogany chairs listed in his 1826 estate inventory. They remained in the family until they were sold at Sloan’s in November 1987 for $13,200. The slip seats were covered in black horsehair after 1987. A popular pattern in Baltimore, similar chairs are at the Maryland Historical Society, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Estimated at $20,000/40,000, they sold to collectors in the salesroom for $38,837.50. Sotheby’s photo. Sotheby’s, New York City, May 23, 2002.  (Maine Antique Digest)

The same chair went unsold as a “New York” chair at Christie’s, January 20, 2006