Wing chair

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An 18th century wing chair

A wing chair (also, wing-back chair or wing-back) is an easy chair or club chair with "wings" mounted to the back of the chair, typically, but not always, stretching down to the arm rest. The purpose of the "wings" was to enclose the head or torso areas of the body in order to provide comfortable protection from drafts, and to trap the heat from a fireplace in the area where the person would be sitting. Hence, in historic times these are often used near a fireplace. Currently most examples of wing chairs are fully upholstered with exposed wood legs, but, many of the oldest wing chair examples have an exposed frame with padded cushions at the seat, arm rests, back and sometimes wings.

They were first introduced in England during the 1600s, and the basic design has remained unchanged since.[1] They did not become popular until the 1720s.[2]

Though there are many types of wing chairs, there are two standard wing styles - the flat wing and the scroll wing. There are also bat wings and butterfly wings just to name a few. The length, depth, vertical position and shape of the wings may vary from chair to chair.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Marshall B. Davidson; Elizabeth Stillinger (1985). The American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Metropolitan Museum of Art. pp. 109–. ISBN 978-0-87099-424-1.
  2. ^ Cook, Kim (5 July 2017). "RIGHT AT HOME: Traditional wing chairs with modern twist". AP News. Retrieved 20 September 2019.