User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Side chair

Start collecting

This chair is one of a set owned originally by Dr. Ezekiel Porter of Wethersfield, a small community where wealthy gentry prospered in the rich farmland of the Connecticut River Valley. The chair features a slender splat, pointed knee brackets, thin stiles, and pad feet-all characteristic of...

Show Full Description


The chairs came down in the Porter and Belden families from Dr. Ezekiel Porter (1707-1775) of Wethersfield. They formed part of the furnishings of the Porter-Belden House, 400 Main Street, Wethersfield, and one of the set is shown in situ in H. Stiles, History of Ancient Wethersfield, opposite page 534. The inventory of Porter's estate lists fourteen chairs in two rooms at five shillings each, and since this example has a seat frame numbered IX (or XI), it is not improbable that these are the chairs in question though forty other chairs are listed in the inventory at lesser evaluations. The total value of the furnishings was 587/6/4 pounds in an estate of over 2700 pounds.

Credit Line

By exchange with the Garvan Collection

About 1740–60

Object Place

Wethersfield, Connecticut

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 136


104.46 x 49.85 x 43.5 cm (41 1/8 x 19 5/8 x 17 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cherry and pine with original needlework seat cover




Furniture, Seating and Beds