CILSS Antique Upholstered Chairs


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Loose cushions were used to offer the sitter a measure of comfort on 16th century oak chairs, but it was not until the beginning of the 17th century that fully upholstered antique chairs developed. Sets of upholstered seating furniture have been made for houses since then, and although there are very few early sets in existence, many fine examples have survived from the 17th century onward. 

High-backed upholstered chairs with wings and an adjustable backs were made in the second half of the 17th century. Known as sleeping chairs, they were the precursors of the fixed-back, fully upholstered wing chairs which had emerged by the end of the century. Wing, or easy, chairs remained fashionable throughout the 18th century. 

In 18th-century France, one of the most popular chairs was the bergere in which, in addition to the back and seat, the sides were also upholstered. Most bergeres do not have wings. 

In 1828 the coiled spring was introduced, making chairs much more comfortable. Rapid population growth in the first half of the 19th century, in both the United States and Europe, meant that by 1850 there was a huge demand for upholstered furniture by all classes of society and not, as before, simply by the rich. 

This trend has continued into the 20th century. 







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