The splat (a piece of thin wood in the center of a chair back) features a carved kylix and garland design, in keeping with the neoclassical interest in Greek and Roman motifs. A kylix is a wide, shallow bowl used for drinking wine from a reclined position, popular in ancient Greece.
These chairs were originally upholstered in black horsehair, which lent an elegant satin-like sheen and offered great durability. The swag found in the brass tacking follows the neoclassical concept of integrated design echoed in other decorative elements in the room.
Set of Six Side Chairs
John Goddard, possible maker
John Carlile, Jr., possible maker
Rhode Island, 1788-1800
Mahogany, birch, maple, horsehair