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Photo: Courtesy The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Va., 1967-626
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Easy chair


Object number

RIF183

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

47 5/8 28 1/2 21 3/4 in. (120.968 72.39 55.245 cm)

Date

1750–90

Current location

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia

Geography

Probably made in Massachusetts, formerly said to have been made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Black walnut (front legs, side, and medial stretchers); maple (seat rails); cherry (rear legs, back stiles, and lower back brace); white pine (remainder of the frame)

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Earl B. Osborn, Northampton, Massachusetts; given to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, 1967

Associated names

Earl B. Osborn

Construction

The crest rail has an arched and chamfered top edge and a flat bottom edge; the stiles are continuous with the back legs. The leg/stiles are square in plan and rake rearward to the bottom of the stay rail, are then vertical to the bottom of the seat rail, then rake rearward again, and have chamfered inside corners below the side stretchers. The upper pieces of the wings have serpentine top edges and diagonal bottom edges. The wings? upright element are continuous boards; outward-scrolling armrest tops are set into their inside faces. The armrests? supports consist of several vertical boards, including a partially conical section, attached to each other and to the side seat rails with a variety of brads, rosehead nails, and wood pins. The turned rear stretcher is doweled into the rear legs. The blocked and turned side stretcher are tenoned and wood-pinned to the front and rear legs. At the proper left rear leg, the wood pin is visible on the legs? outside faces only; at the proper right, the pin is seen on both sides. At the front legs, the mortise and tenon joints are tall, and the wood pins are visible on the inside and the outside of the thickened and angular portion of the legs. The medial stretcher is doweled into the blocked portions of the side stretchers and its turnings differ from those of the rear stretcher. The front and side seat rails are lap-jointed at the quarter round front corners. The tops of the front legs are circular dowels visible through the top of the rails? lap joints. The front and side seat rails have square-cut, incurvate inside edges with prominent saw marks. The cabriole front legs have replaced knee brackets and pad feet with incised ankles. The shoe of the proper right front foot is missing; the rear legs are reduced in height, the proper right somewhat more than the proper left. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, February 25, 2013; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Barry A. Greenlaw, New England Furniture at Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, 1974), 76–77, no. 68, ill.