A favorite of visitors to the Avery-Downer House is this diminutive child’s chair. Made of walnut, its back splat is an exuberant Gothic arch making it a fine example of Gothic Revival style. Gothic Revival style in architecture and decorative arts followed closely the Greek Revival period.
The needlepoint cover adds immeasurably to its charm with a horse pull toy, Greek Key border, and its red color is still vibrant after almost 170 years. The notation of the date 1847 and the wording “Father to J. E. V.” provide a clue to the story of the chair, a story that unfortunately, has not been kept in our records. Our records show that Robbins Hunter purchased the chair from the Buxton home in Johnstown. We would be most interested in information that anyone might have on the possible identity of J. E. V. It would complete the story of this treasured gift.
The chair is on display in the main parlor of the Avery-Downer House and has been featured in a loan exhibition at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster as well as a special exhibition of Ohio chairs at Robbins Hunter Museum.