Rundlet-May House

Fancy Chairs in Red

By the end of the nineteenth century, painting and veneering had replaced carving as the preferred method of surface treatments for furniture. The variety of color and pattern that could be achieved with these techniques appeared fresh and fashionable, capturing the spirit of the new neoclassical style. Craftsmen adopted the term “fancy chair” to describe painted examples with rush or caned seats. This set of nine chairs was purchased as part of the original furnishing of the house when James and Jane Rundlet had it built, and part of the set was then used in the parlor by the family at some point, and painted white over the original red.