Famous for his block-and-shell-carved Chippendale furniture, John Townsend (1733-1809) successfully adapted his work to the fashionable style of Federal America in the late 1790s. The chair offered here appears to be identical to four others bearing the label of Townsend dated 1800 and may be the fifth chair from an original set of six. The other chairs comprise one illustrated as fig. 1 and its mate now in the collection of Bayou Bend, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, a third in the collection of Winterthur Museum and a fourth in a private collection. Beyond their decorative similarities, the chairs also exhibit construction details uncommon to Newport, such as the through-tenon joining of the side rails to the rear stiles and cross braces inside the seat frame. The latter feature is seen on New York work, as is the design of the splat, and demonstrates a cultural link between the two centers during the years of the early Republic.