The Old Senate Chamber

Senate President's Armchair

Maker: Attributed to the shop of John Shaw (1745-1829), c. 1797
Medium: Mahogany, dark and lightwood inlays with tulip poplar and white oak
MSA SC 1545-0748
Photograph by Gavin Ashworth
Senate President's Armchair

In December 1796, the Maryland Senate commissioned cabinetmaker John Shaw to provide “twenty-four handsome commodious chairs to be made for the accommodation of the senate, amongst which shall be a presidential chair.”

The following year, Shaw delivered the 24 upholstered armchairs, as well as a desk for the president, and 10 additional senator’s desks. The 1797 furniture remained in use in the Old Senate Chamber until sometime between 1837-1845.