Medium: Ash or Beech
F 193.1-2 Donated by Ann Kelsey Somers in 2004
These often overlooked side chairs reside in the stair hall of the Hammond-Harwood House. While not the most elaborate of our furniture pieces, they still have an interesting story to tell. Most of the chairs in the collection were produced in English or American urban centers. However, these pieces were made by a rural manufacturer likely from the countryside in Yorkshire or Lancashire. The form has been called “Lancashire Ladderback” or “Yorkshire Slat Back.” The wood is likely beech or ash. The chairs are vernacular, meaning they were used in daily life in a specific region and were made by local craftsmen using available local materials.
This style of chair was always painted, and generally each generation of users painted the chairs once or twice. When the Loockerman family lived in Hammond-Harwood House in the early 19th century older chairs such as these would have been used in the servant quarters or placed in the stairwell for visiting servants while a dinner party or gathering was taking place.