Beautifully crafted and perfectly proportioned, this side chair is decorated with a restrained design of inlaid blossoms. The cherrywood frame was ebonized (stained or painted black) to resemble Japanese lacquer.

In contrast to the flamboyance found in much 19th-century design, Japanese-inspired furniture was distinctive for its elegant simplicity. Influenced by Japanese ornament, the Herter Brothers company began producing its own interpretations in the early 1870s. German-born immigrants Gustave and Christian Herter were preeminent among the designers and cabinetmakers who helped nouveau-riche Americans outfit grand residences. The half brothers designed furniture and interiors for the sumptuous homes of Gilded Age clients such as Jay Gould, J. Pierpont Morgan, and William H. Vanderbilt.


  • Title: Chair
  • Creator: Herter Brothers
  • Date Created: c. 1877-1878
  • Physical Dimensions: w43.2 x h94.9 x d46.4 cm (overall)
  • Type: Furniture
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Ebonized cherry, maple, satinwood, and gilt; upholstery not original
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, museum purchase funded by the Arch and Stella Rowan Foundation, Inc.

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