A painted c. 1840 rocking chair, documented as once being on exhibit in the North East Sitting Room, was rediscovered today stored behind the false wall in the Second Floor Gallery (North Central Room). The chair was purchased by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Illinois (NSCDA-IL) in June of 1987 from Taylor B. Williams Antiques in Chicago.
Simple, with slender spindles at the back and turned rungs, the chair is beautifully decorated. Typical for the 1840s period, it mimics Japanese lacquer with a coat of red paint applied as a base and covered with black over top. The seat has faux graining meant to resemble flame mahogany, edged in gold paint. The back rest features a stenciled design of a sailor, sailboats, and houses.A mysterious "B" is painted in black under the seat. Could it be a clue to the original owner?
This piece is now on exhibit in the South East Bed Chamber (Girls' Room).