Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State

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Web Property of the U.S. Department of State


Object Details

ca. 1740-1760
United States: Massachusetts: Boston; United States: New York: New York City
North American
wood; black walnut; eastern white pine; soft maple
Overall: 38 5/8 in x 21 1/2 in x 21 1/4 in; 98.1075 cm x 54.61 cm x 53.975 cm
By descent from John Aspinwall (1707-1774) of New York, New York, and Flushing, Long Island; to the donors, of Philadelphia
"IIII" chiseled on the inside of the front rail; a small inventory label "94/1920" on the rear bracket of the right rear leg. A paper label taken from the bottom of the slip seat, now in the Curator's file, reads, "Property of/Mr. Joseph l. Phillips/Belonged to/Mr. John Aspinwall/of Flushing, Long Island/Born 1707 Died 1774/great grandfather of/G. Woolsey Hodge"
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Walter M. Phillips
The Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Accession Number

Object Essay

This particular chair is number four in a set that originally belonged to John Aspinwall.1For references to Aspinwall, see Henry D. Waller, History of the Town of Flushing (Flushing, N. Y.: J. H. Ridenour, 1899), 108–11, and Harriet D. Lawson, Olde Flushing (Flushing, N. Y.: Dondero Lawson, 1952), 120–25. A self-made man, Aspinwall went to sea, worked his way to the command of a ship trading with the West Indies, and then became associated with Gerard G. Beekman. Aspinwall soon went into partnership with his son-in-law, Lawrence Kortright, and the two made a fortune privateering during the French and Indian War.2Philip L. White, ed., The Beekman Mercantile Papers (New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1956), 315.

Gilbert Tapley Vincent

Excerpted from Clement E. Conger, et al. Treasures of State: Fine and Decorative Arts in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1991.