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Easy chair

1755-1770
Origin: America, Rhode Island, Newport
OH: 48"; OW: 35"; OD: 25"
Black walnut front legs, side and medial stretchers; maple rear legs and rear stretcher; possibly white pine secondary
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John M. Bobbitt
Acc. No. 2006-134
Appearance: Easy chair with arched crest; ogival wings continue to vertically scrolled arms; trapezoidal seat with rounded front corners; raised on cabriole legs ending in pad feet, connected by blocked and turned stretchers.

Construction: The front seat rail is lap joined to the side rails with quarter round tenons of the black walnut cabriole front legs extending through the lap joint. The side and back rails are tenoned and pegged to the stiles which are integral with the angled square rear legs. The arched and chamfered crest rail is tenoned and pegged to the stiles which are rounded on the outside corner. A tack rail 3” above the back seat rail is tenoned and double pegged to the stiles. A second rail (modern) has been added 1” above the seat rail and is probably tenoned to the stiles.

The upper sections of the ogival wings are joined to the stiles with round through tenons; the lower sections are through tenoned into the upper section and in turn tenoned to the seat rails. The arm rests are lap joined and screwed to the wings and terminate in scrolls that are screwed from the top into the cone shaped arm rests.
Label:The construction of this easy chair frame suggests that it may have been produced in Newport, Rhode Island, or nearby New London or Norwich, Connecticut. The seat rails are lapped at the front corners, a technique common to Philadelphia but not to most New England chairs. A small group of chairs attributed to Rhode Island and Connecticut also have this construction feature. The quarter round shape of the leg tenon, which extends through the lapped seat rail is distinctive to this group. Colonial Williamsburg owns one other chair (1967-626) from this group that has a lower seat.
Provenance:The donors purchased the chair in 1967 from Teina Baumstone "Early America," New York, NY.