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 Russell Sente Office Building Small Side chair 
Chair, Small Side
by S. Karpen and Brothers, Chicago, IL 
Mahogany, leather, 1909
      Height: 35.5 inches  (90.2 cm)
      Width:  20.25 inches  (51.4 cm)
      Depth: 20 inches  (50.8 cm)
Cat. no. 65.00124.000

Designed by New York cabinetmaker Thomas D. Wadelton (1861-1931), this mahogany side chair was custom-made by S. Karpen and Bros. for the Russell Senate Office Building, which opened on March 5, 1909.

A standard set of furniture was made for each room that adjoined the Senator’s private suite. The space was generally used by a clerk and stenographer and was outfitted with a rolltop desk and swivel arm chair, a rolltop typewriter desk and swivel chair, a table, two armchairs, and three small side chairs.

For the project, S. Karpen and Bros. of Chicago, Illinois (under contract with George W. Cobb, Jr.) manufactured 339 mahogany chairs at a cost of $12.00 each. In 1933, when the office building was expanded, 560 additional chairs were manufactured in walnut by the W.H. Gunlocke Chair Co. of Wayland, New York (under contract with Walter M. Ballard Co.). For ease of identification, the manufacturer’s contract referred to the chair as “Type M.”

The solid mahogany chair has six straight unembellished splats between the top and bottom rails, an unadorned panel on the rectilinear crest rail, tapering square legs that end in spade feet, ladder-type stretcher, and is upholstered in dark green leather.


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