Easy chair

Date: 1715–30

Geography: Probably made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Soft maple, oak, black tupelo

Dimensions: 49 1/4 x 33 x 37 in. (125.1 x 83.8 x 94 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. J. Insley Blair, 1950

Accession Number: 50.228.1


The earliest version of the easy chair, a form that was established in colonial America around 1700, features a tall back and double scroll arms on a turned base. With its padded back, wings, and arms and feather-filled seat cushion, the easy chair introduced a new level of seating comfort. The form was usually placed in the best chamber and upholstered to match the bedstead and window curtains. Although stylish and expensive, easy chairs were often used by the elderly and infirm, and many were outfitted with a close-stool.