American Carved Oak House of Representative Armchair , c. 1857, attr. to Bembe & Kimbel, New York, after a design by Thomas Ustick Walter, shield and padded arms, guilloche motif seat rail, star-carved bulbous foliate legs , h. 39 1/2 in., w. 24 1/2 in., d. 23 in. Note: The chair offered here was designed for the U.S. House of Representatives Chamber by Thomas Ustick Walter (1804-1887), who was the primary architect of the U.S. Capitol and designer of the interiors of the House of Representatives wing. The chairs were in use from 1857 to 1873, when remodeling of the Capitol building resulted in the sale of Walter's furnishings.
The crest rail of the chair features a stars-and-stripes shield flanked by oak and laurel branchesÂ—symbols of longevity and victory that promoted the 19th century American concept of Manifest Destiny during an era of westward expansion.
Ref.: “History, Art and Archives: U.S. House of Representatives,”