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Bannister Back Chair

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Painted black and with a woven splint seat, this style of side chair, sometimes called a 'bannister back,' was found in many areas of New England in the 18th century. Because the flat side of the bannisters face the back of the sitter and the deep crest is topped with a cyma curve, the chair is believed to have been made in the Deerfield area. Those two features are found on chairs in this area. The chair was used as a seat in the meeting house before pews were as common. Family history tells us that the missing finial is the result of a stray bullet fired through the meeting house window by a youthful Rodolphus Dickinson (1786-1862).


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