Artist/maker unknown, American
One of the most expensive and luxurious types of seating furniture produced in colonial America was the fully upholstered armchair fitted with a high back and wings. The high cost of fine textiles during the period turned these upholstered chairs into symbols of wealth and status. Often made for the aged and infirm, the height of the back protected a sitter from drafts, and the padding added additional comfort. This chair is among the earliest upholstered armchairs with back wings known to have survived from early-eighteenth-century Boston. Its turned and joined base is drawn from Jacobean and Baroque stylistic influences, carried to New England by Puritan English immigrants.