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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive
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Easy chair


Object number

RIF5717

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

113.03 x 78.74 x 73.66 cm (44 1/2 x 31 x 29 in.)

Date

1760–1790

Current location

Joe Kindig Antiques

Geography

Possibly made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Walnut (legs and stretchers); maple (seat rails, rear stiles, crest rail, and wings); pine (arm cones)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Colonel George Watson (1718–1800), Plymouth, Massachusetts. Joe Kindig Antiques, York, Pennsylvania, 2013

Associated names

Colonel George Watson

Construction

The stiles and rear legs are a continuous piece of wood. The seat rails are tenoned into the front and rear legs, and single pins are visible where the rails join to the front legs. The side stretchers are joined to the front and rear legs with rectangular tenons and pinned. The medial stretcher is joined to the side stretchers with round tenons. The rear stretcher is joined to the rear legs with round tenons. There are chamfers on the upper edges of the rear blocks of the side stretchers. The crest is tenoned into the stiles and pinned. The tops of the wings are tenoned into the tops of the rear stiles and pinned twice. The wing supports are tenoned into the top of the wings and pinned. The arm supports are tenoned into the side seat rails and pinned twice. The wing supports are tenoned into the side seat rails and pinned. The chair retains its original crewel embroidery on the inside surfaces of its back and arms. Traces of the graphite used to lay out the embroidery on the ground fabric can be seen in one of the areas of embroidery loss. The foundation upholstery of the seat has been replaced, except for the sack cloth, which is nailed to the upper surfaces of the side and front seat rails. The back retains three strips (two vertical and one horizontal) of original webbing (there may have been four initially). The webbing has a central white stripe, edged with light brown, and flanked by two darker brown stripes on either side. The sack cloth on the back panel is also original, and is nailed to the inside surfaces of the crest and stiles. The straw edge rolls on the wings survive and go from the crest, along the inside edge of the wings and arms, to the arm scrolls. The sack cloth on the inside of the arm panel is nailed to the inside surfaces of the wing and arm supports. The straw of the edge roll on the proper-right arm is showing (a strand of black horse hair can also be seen sticking out from top of edge roll). The sackcloth under the webbing is wrapped under and around the medial back rail and tacked to its upper surface. There are remnants of a dark green/blue fabric, which probably originally covered the back panel, sewn to the crest.

Bibliography

Dennis Andrew Carr, Patricia E. Kane, and Jennifer N. Johnson, "Recent Discoveries in Rhode Island Furniture," The Magazine Antiques 181, no. 1 (January/February 2014): 218, fig. 2, 2a.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 349–351, no. 72, ill.