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Easy chair

William Roby (American, active c. 1740–unknown)


Medium walnut, maple, and pine, with modern wool upholstery Measurements H: 49 3/8 x W: 30 1/2 x D: 27 in. (125.41 x 77.47 x 68.6 cm) Credit Schoonmaker Memorial Fund Accession Number 83.37 Location Gallery 19, Bruce Galleries


American colonial furniture is rarely signed and dated, but a chalk inscription on the inside of the right rear leg indicates this easy chair is the work of William Roby, completed in June 1742. The chair is intriguing for its transitional elements, showcasing features from two distinct styles. The flowing curves, cabriole legs, and pad feet are representative of the late Baroque or Queen Anne style, which came into fashion in America in the 1720s. There are also vestiges of the early Baroque or William and Mary style in the vertical proportions and heavily turned and blocked cross-stretchers.