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Object Name Highchair
Date 1780-1820
Description Child's highchair. Ladderback form with arms and woven splint seat. Turned legs extend upward to form stiles and are canted outward toward the floor. Back has two arched slats. Seat is trapezoidal; splint may not be original (original seat could have been another material such as woven rush). Legs are connected by double stretchers at the front and sides and a single stretcher in the rear. Overall height approximately 35.375 inches; seat height approximately 20 inches.
(Keywords: Children's Furniture, Early American, Armchair)
Acquisition Gift of J. Bay Robinson
Ownership and History This chair was in the collection of Edwin Spencer Barnes of Staten Island. Barnes was an architect with offices in Manhattan and a collector of American antiques during the first half of the 20th century. His collection descended to his niece, Elizabeth Sterling Robinson, and her husband, J. Bay Robinson.

This simple chair is an example of early highchair design; it is essentially a small version of an adult-style chair, with long legs to raise the child up to the table. At the time this chair was made, highchairs were not considered a necessity, and most American homes did not have one.

Notice the worn areas on the top front stretcher (or rung), suggesting that many children rested their feet there over the years.

Earliest Date 1780
Latest Date 1820
Subjects Children
Lexicon Sub-category Furniture
Associated People Barnes, Edwin Spencer
Catalog Number X93.0877
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by Con Edison, 2010.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.