Spindle–back armchair, 1640–80
Boston or Charlestown, Massachusetts
44 3/4 x 23 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (113.7 x 59.7 x 40 cm)
Gift of Mrs. J. Insley Blair, 1951 (51.12.2)
This armchair is the product of the turner's craft—every element, save the plank seat, was shaped with chisels and gouges while it spun, or turned, on a lathe. The tiers of tapered spindles in the front, sides, and back create a virtual screen around the sitter and help temper the massive proportions of the front and back posts.