Inspired by European excavations, English and French designers popularized their own versions of forms and motifs of Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece through the publications of pattern books. Among the most influential and commonly copied designs were those published by Thomas Sheraton in his Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book (London, 1791-4) and by Percier and Fontaine in their Recueil de Dcorations Interieurs (Paris, 1798-1811). New fashions were also brought to America by immigrant craftsmen. The side chairs offered here illustrate the cross-Continental transmission of ideas as well as their reinterpretations in the American context.
The decorative features including the structural design and ornament (on the large anthemion splat, front legs, ring-turned front rail and front stretcher) indicate a Pennsylvania or New Jersey origin. A chair with similar line decoration on the front stiles, leaf stencilling on the front rails and a further elaborated stencilled design on the front stretcher is in The Collection of Winterthur Museum and attributed to John W. Patterson, Philadelphia, 1830-1840. Other side chairs related in form and surface decoration are in the collections of Winterthur Museum and Bayou Bend (Montgomery, American Furniture, The Federal Period, fig.466, p.456 and Warren, Bayou Bend: American Furniture, Paintings and Silver from the Bayou Bend Collection, fig.178, p.95)