Retaining its original underpinnings, this easy chair is a rare survival of the upholsterer's craft and documents its evolution in eighteenth-century America. The chair has a layer of grass placed upon the sackcloth over which resilient curled hair is lain. Earlier practices used grass exclusively for upholstery stuffing and the use of both grass and curled hair was favored after the mid-century. The stuffing is secured to the sackcloth with twine, still evident on this chair. The final layer before the upholstery fabric, was another piece of linen, often, as in this case, finer than the sackcloth (Heckscher, "18th-Century American Upholstery Techniques: Easy Chairs, Sofas, and Settees," Upholstery in America and Europe, Cooke, ed. (New York, 1987), pp. 97-111).
The chair's triple-swelled medial stretcher is a variant of the more typical arrow-head stretchers and indicates the chair's Boston origins (see Richards and Evans, New England Furniture at Winterthur: Queen Anne and Chippendale Periods (Winterthur, 1997), cats. 90, 25; Keno, Barzilay Freund and Miller, "The Very Pink of the Mode: Boston Georgian Chairs, Their Export, and Their Influence," American Furniture (1996), figs. 29, 30; Warren et al., American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1998), cats. F81, F97, F99).