The Chapins chose to be painted seated on this walnut sofa. The piece was a family heirloom used in their Richmond living room. Passed down through several generations of the family, the sofa was recently donated to the Valentine by Mrs. Chapin’s grandson, James.

What is an heirloom? A valued personal possession passed down in a family through succeeding generations. In some families the possession may have great monetary value; in others it may be the emotional or sentimental value that makes an object an heirloom.


  • Title: Chapin Sofa
  • Date Created: 1860
  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • Provenance: Gift of Mr. James Chapin Sheppard, V.2016.35.01, R.22.2016
  • Type: Furniture
  • Medium: Walnut wood, Upholestry

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