image of object
Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, 1953.1.3
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Easy chair

Object number



Maker, attributed to John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809


Height: 49 in. (124.46 cm) Height, seat: 19 in. (48.26 cm) Width: 33 1/2 in. (85.09 cm) Depth: 24 in. (60.96 cm)



Current location

The Rhode Island Historical Society


Made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); maple (crest rail, rear posts, and front seat rail)






Henry A. Hoffman (born 1873), Barrington, Rhode Island and Litchfield, Connecticut; given to the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, 1953

Associated names

Henry A. Hoffman


The rear legs are square and rake rearward just below the seat rails. There is no rear stretcher. The side seat rails are tenoned into the rear leg/stiles. The blocked and turned side stretchers are doweled and wood-pinned into the front legs, the pins being revealed on the inside faces of the legs only. The proper right end of the turned medial stretcher is doweled and (later) wood-pinned to the blocked portions of the proper right side stretcher, the pin being revealed on the bottom face of the stretcher. The front legs have rounded knees and square ankles. The upper portions of the rear claws are angular, continuous with the angular rear and side corners of the leg above. The knee brackets are held on with rosehead nails. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson. June, 2014; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.


Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 147, 190–191, fig. 3.108–3.108b.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "The Newport Exhibition," Antiques 64, no. 1 (July 1953): 39, fig. 4.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 102, no. 14, ill.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640–1820 (Newport, R.I.: Preservation Society of Newport County, 1954), 54, no. 28, Detail, p. 209, Supplement 28, ill.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "Catalog of The Rhode Island Historical Society Furniture Collection," Rhode Island History 14, no. 4 (October 1955): 122–23, no. 1, ill.
Rhode Island History 31, nos. 2 and 3 (May and August 1972): inside front cover, ill.