Easy Chair

Maker: Caleb Gardner (died 1761)

Date: 1758

Geography: Made in Newport, Rhode Island, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Walnut, maple

Dimensions: 46 3/8 x 32 3/8 x 25 7/8 in. (117.8 x 82.2 x 65.7 cm)

Classification: Furniture

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

Accession Number: 50.228.3

Description

Eighteenth-century easy chairs—heavily padded, with thick down-filled cushions, and wings to rest one's head against and keep drafts away—were often reserved for the elderly or the infirm. This Rhode Island example, in the so-called Queen Anne style, characterized by continuous curves and cabriole legs with round pad feet, is remarkable for its elaborate upholstery and intact condition. The front is covered with Irish stitch needlework and the back with a needlework landscape scene. The seams are covered with silk tape. The frame is inscribed by "Gardner Junr," presumably the upholsterer, and dated "Newport, May 1758."

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