This mahogany chair was produced around the turn of the century by The Stomps-Burkhardt Company of Dayton, Ohio. The company operated between 1890 and1928. The shape of the chair was originally inspired by ancient Egyptian folding stools. These chairs had an X-shaped base and a curved seat. These simple folding stools inspired designers in 15th century Italy to resurrect the style and rename their folding stools Savonarola chairs. Curule chairs descended from seats reserved for high-ranking officials of the Roman Empire. Curule chairs were similar in design, but were not foldable and had a solid framework. The Curule chair continued to develop and flourish across Europe after the 15th century. The X-shaped chair came to the U.S. in the early 1800s as part of the American fascination with French style and furniture.
The real renaissance of the chair came in the late 19th century, thanks to domesticfurniture companies and mail order catalogues such as Sears Roebuck andMontgomery Ward. These companies dubbed them Roman chairs and sold them to the masses. By that time, the Roman chair had morphed from an X-shape to a lazy-C construction of the arms and seat. In many Victorian and Edwardian homes, a parlor, much like Rayburn’s, was not complete without the stylish addition of a Roman chair.