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The Benjamin Franklin Side Chair
Catalog#: 7th Anniversary
Category: Furniture - American
SubType: Chair
Origin: PA
Era: 18th Century
This Chippendale walnut side chair belonged to Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). Six generations of Franklin descendants lovingly preserved this chair, which retains a choice old or original finish and an early needlepoint seat covering made by a family member. Along with a high chest in the collection of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (gift of June and Joseph Hennage), and a marble-top mixing table in a private collection, this side chair is one of three documented examples of Franklin-owned Philadelphia Chippendale furniture inherited through the Bache family.

Benjamin Franklin to his daughter, Sarah Franklin- Bache to her son, William Bache to his daughter, Sarah Bache-Hodge to her son, Caspar Wistar Hodge to his daughter, Angelina Post Hodge-MacLaren to her daughter, Angelina Hodge MacLaren, the greatgreat- great-great granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin.

Virtual Exhibition:
Website celebrating the Benjamin Franklin tercentenary, Http://www.benfranklin300.org/frankliniana/result.php

Page Talbott, "Franklin's Legacy: Documented furnishings," The Magazine Antiques, December 2005, pl. XII, p. 71.
Page Talbott, Ed., Benjamin Franklin, In Search of a Better World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), fig. 4.28, p. 147.
Page Talbott, "The House that Franklin Built," Antiques & Fine Art, January-February 2006, fig. 6, p. 234.

The Benjamin Franklin side chair belongs to an important group of Philadelphia Chippendale chairs having the same distinctive acanthus-and-floral carved strap work splat which includes a set traditionally used by George Washington in the Presidential mansion in Philadelphia, and chairs made for Vincent Loockerman, and Levi Hollingsworth. Additional examples with this type of splat are in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (M. & M. Karolik collection), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Wadsworth Athenaeum, and Winterthur Museum.

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