The design for the back of this chair probably is based on a plate in George Hepplewhite's "Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide" (London, 1794). Although the Seymours are not known to have made chairs in great quantity, this superb example may have been produced in their shop.
The chairs are said to have been owned by John Hancock (died 1793) but do not appear in his inventory; they belonged certainly to his widow, Dorothy Quincy (Hancock) Scott and appear in the inventory of her estate as "14 Birdseye Maple Chairs-$25". At the sale of her effects, advertised in the Columbia Centinel, Feb. 20, 1830, they are noted as "one set of bird's eye maple chairs with damask seatings, one pair similar card tables". They were purchased by Jabez Bullard and descended to the donors.
Gift of Mrs. Isabel Bullard Brown of Lynn, Mass., Miss Mary B. Bullard and Frederic S. Bullard of Portland, ME.