Side Chair

Side Chair

Attributed to John Henry Belter (1804–1863)

New York, 1840–60

Rosewood veneer

On long-term loan. Gift of George and Gloria Manney, Winterthur Museum

In the period of westward expansion, the Rococo revival style was a metaphor for the taming of the western wilderness. Rococo revival designers in major American cities—such as New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore—applied floral decoration to interiors and furniture. The ornate, organic decoration of furniture of the mid- to late-eighteenth century was reimagined for modern uses through innovative construction techniques. As shown here, bold borders of bent-rosewood laminates visually frame fields of floral carvings.