Overall: 36 x 23 1/2 x 20 in. ( 91.4 x 59.7 x 50.8 cm )
engraved: metal plaque on rear rail; "CHAIR/ used by Federal Congress/ 1789/ Federal Hall/ Corner of Wall and Nassau Streets"
Mahogany Federal armchair used in Federal Hall; square upholstered back with square beaded edge; upholstered open arms with curved supports; trapezoidal upholstered seat with beaded rails, quarter-round seat glue blocks; turned stop-fluted columnar legs with rosettes at top of leg; brass castors on feet; brass tacks outline modern black horsehair upholstery.
This armchair is among the surviving furnishings from Federal Hall, the home of the first United States Congress located at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets. Federal Hall was remodeled for that purpose in 1788 by the French-born architect and engineer Pierre L'Enfant, who may have influenced the design of the furniture created for the government officials. The original furnishings, used by Congress for less than a year, were still stored in the building when the New-York Historical Society was headquartered there in 1809. Founder John Pintard petitioned the Common Council for use of six semi-circular tables, and they agreed. In 1837, the city donated two of the tables, two pedestal desks, two desks used by members of Congress, and four armchairs to the Historical Society.
Gift of the Corporation of the City of New York
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.