English Wingback Chair
Wingback chairs were first introduced in England during the 1600s and gained popularity in the 1720s. The protruding “wings” of the chair stem from its original placement near the fireplace. The chair was designed to be a comfortable seating option in front of the blustering fires necessary to heat homes at the time. The wings would direct and trap heat for the user, while simultaneously blocking drafts and keeping breezes off the ears and neck. The earliest wingback chairs were significantly less pleasant due to being constructed solely from wood with flat, broad arms. As the 18th century progressed, comfort was further incorporated into the wingback, with the body of the chair becoming fully upholstered. Wooden legs remained a key feature of the design. Wingback chairs continue to retain their popularity in the present day. This English wingback chair dates to the 18th century. The original frame has been reupholstered in very high quality Italian leather. Hand loomed, hand-dyed linen from Paris, in a custom colour, completes the chair’s design. The two front wooden legs are carved with a subtle pattern. The antique frame and updated upholstery work together to produce a design that would suit both classic and contemporary spaces. We may not need wingback chairs for their functionality anymore, but the streamlined design of the English wingback chair has proven to withstand the test of time.
At this time in England, the Haymarket Theatre opened in London on December 29, 1720. The Theatre is still in operation today, making it the third-oldest London playhouse still in use. Haymarket Theatre is not only significant because of its age; it was also the venue of the first scheduled matinee performance in 1873. This custom, of a performance running at midday on select days, quickly became a custom in theaters everywhere.