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Object Timeline

1967

  • We acquired this object.

2001

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2019

  • You found it!

Chair (England), ca. 1844

This is a Chair. It is dated ca. 1844 and we acquired it in 1967. Its medium is molded papier-mâché, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, painted and gilt wood. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Although the technique of papier-mâché existed in China as early as 200 CE, its use in Europe culminated in the early to mid-nineteenth century with large scale productions. This chair demonstrates several techniques patented in the 1820s-40s for molding and steam-pressing layered paper to make it more malleable. This allowed for more elaborate shapes than previously possible, including scrolls and curves, seen here. The chair’s gilding and mother of pearl decoration accents reference traditional Japanese decoration.

This object was donated by Mrs. Arthur Wiesenberger and Arthur Wiesenberger. It is credited Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wiesenberger.

  • Mirror, ca. 1790
  • japanned wood, mirrored plate glass.
  • Bequest of Mrs. John Innes Kane.
  • 1926-22-230

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 90.5 x 63 x 60.1cm (35 5/8 x 24 13/16 x 23 11/16in.)

It has the following markings

Imitation of a patent registration mark [opinion of Elizabeth Aslin of Victoria and Albert Museum, 9 Feb. 1968, "at top, where there should be a class number, the letter "H" appears. Other chairs with such fake registration marks exist."]; second mark under back of seat.

Cite this object as

Chair (England), ca. 1844; molded papier-mâché, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, painted and gilt wood; H x W x D: 90.5 x 63 x 60.1cm (35 5/8 x 24 13/16 x 23 11/16in.); Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Wiesenberger; 1967-66-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Rococo: The Continuing Curve 1730-2008.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18458645/ |title=Chair (England), ca. 1844 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 June 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>