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Side Chair

Decorative Arts and Design

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Side Chair

Artwork Details


John Henry Belter (American, born German, 1804-1863), designer and maker


ca. 1855–1860


Laminated rosewood, white pine, and ash with original applique designs on modern silk upholstery

Accession #



39 7/8 x 19 1/8 x 27 1/2 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 305


While the furniture industry was becoming increasingly mechanized by the 1850s, wealthier, fashionable buyers might purchase a suite of hand-carved furniture like this one by the German-born New York cabinetmaker John Henry Belter. However, even Belter needed the help of steam-pressing machines to produce the deeply undulating curves and pierced, carved edges characteristic of his furnishings. He achieved the necessary construction strength for his designs by laminating thin sheets of hardwoods into a plywood—a process Belter patented in 1849.


Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection