Easy chair

about 1700–25

Object Place: Boston, New England


Overall: 125.7 x 73.7 x 81.3 cm (49 1/2 x 29 x 32 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cherry, modern upholstery

On View

Burton A. Cleaves Gallery (Gallery LG27)




Seating and beds

The easy chair-a large, upholstered chair with protective wings-was a new form in the Baroque era. Evolving from invalid chairs and aristocratic lounging chairs with hinged backs and footrests, it typically was used in the bedchamber. Given the amount of imported textiles needed to upholster easy chairs, they were far too expensive for the average colonist.


Originally belonged to Samuel Franklin (1721-1775) of Boston, Massachusetts (cousin of Benjamin Franklin); descended in the family to Winnifred Franklin Jones (1888-1973) of Bucksport, Maine; about 1975, bequested by Jones to her cousin Robert Lombard Parker and his wife Margaret S. Parker of North Reading, Massachusetts); 1976, given by Robert L. Parker and Margaret S. Parker to the MFA (Acquisition date:October 13, 1976)

Credit Line

Gift of Robert L. Parker and Margaret S. Parker in memory of Winnifred Franklin Jones