Writing & Reading Chairs Photos

Early American writing chairs were mostly based on Windsor chair forms with one arm having a large writing surface. Specialized reading chairs existed to allow a reader to straddle the seat to face the "back" of the "reversible" chair, which held a book rest or supported the reader's arms.

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Windsor chair with writing arm, two drawers & offset back to allow for arm movement at Oliver Ellsworth Homestead Museum. Windsor, CT.Windsor chair with writing desk arm by Ebenezer Macey in Maple bedroom at Bayou Bend. Houston, TX.Armchair with writing surface arm & drawer at Stanley-Whitman House. Farmington, CT.Richard Hale's writing desk at Nathan Hale Homestead Museum. Coventry, CT.
Windsor chair with writing arm, two drawers & offset back to allow for arm movement at Oliver Ellsworth Homestead Museum. Windsor, CT.Windsor chair with writing desk arm by Ebenezer Macey in Maple bedroom at Bayou Bend. Houston, TX.Armchair with writing surface arm & drawer at Stanley-Whitman House. Farmington, CT.Richard Hale's writing desk (18th C) at Nathan Hale Homestead Museum. Coventry, CT.
Writing chair at Oliver Ellsworth Homestead Museum. Windsor, CT.Ladder-back & writing chairs at Shaw Mansion. New London, CT.Writing chair at Craik-Patton House. Charleston, WV.Writing chair with drawer below seat in bedroom at Craik-Patton House. Charleston, WV.
Writing chair at Oliver Ellsworth Homestead Museum. Windsor, CT.Ladder-back & writing chairs at Shaw Mansion. New London, CT.Writing chair at Craik-Patton House. Charleston, WV.Writing chair with drawer below seat in bedroom at Craik-Patton House. Charleston, WV.
Reversible reading chair in library at Lauriston Castle. Edinburgh, Scotland.Reversible reading chair with drawers for glasses, pens & paper in library at Lauriston Castle. Edinburgh, Scotland.Pen drawer in arm of reversible reading chair in library at Lauriston Castle. Edinburgh, Scotland.Paper drawer in seat of reversible reading chair in library at Lauriston Castle. Edinburgh, Scotland.
Reversible reading chair in library at Lauriston Castle. Edinburgh, Scotland.Reversible reading chair with drawers for glasses, pens & paper in library at Lauriston Castle. Edinburgh, Scotland.Pen drawer in arm of reversible reading chair in library at Lauriston Castle. Edinburgh, Scotland.Paper drawer in seat of reversible reading chair in library at Lauriston Castle. Edinburgh, Scotland.
Roycroft meditation chair for reading at Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum. East Aurora, NY.Library chair where reader sits backwards straddling seat, supporting book on back at Traquair House. Scotland.Georgian writing desk with pull-out ink tray where user straddles backward chair in Mr. Vanderbilt's bedroom at Vanderbilt Mansion. Centerport, NY.Orville Wright's chair with reading stand in library at Hawthorn Hill. Dayton, OH.
Roycroft meditation chair (c1905) for reading at Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum. East Aurora, NY.Library chair where reader sits backwards straddling seat, supporting book on back at Traquair House. Scotland.Georgian writing desk with pull-out ink tray where user straddles backward chair in Mr. Vanderbilt's bedroom at Vanderbilt Mansion. Centerport, NY.Orville Wright's chair with reading stand in library at Hawthorn Hill. Dayton, OH.
Reading stand for easy chair arms at Strokestown Park. Vesnoy, Ireland.Armchair with reading & writing extensions in which Voltaire is believed by some to have died at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Chairs from 1780s in grand bureau at Nissim de Camondo Museum. Paris, France.French chair to sit in either direction at Museum Angladon, Jacques Doucet Collection. Avignon, France.
Reading stand for easy chair arms at Strokestown Park. Vesnoy, Ireland.Armchair with reading & writing extensions in which Voltaire is believed by some to have died at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Chairs from 1780s in grand bureau at Nissim de Camondo Museum. Paris, France.French chair to sit in either direction at Museum Angladon, Jacques Doucet Collection. Avignon, France.
Teddy's childhood chair in back parlor of Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace. New York, NY.Work chair with table in Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedroom at The Breakers. Newport, RI.Reading table with candle holders by Pierre IV Migeon at Petit Palace Museum. Paris, France.
Teddy's childhood chair in back parlor of Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace. New York, NY.Work chair with table in Mrs. Vanderbilt's Bedroom at The Breakers. Newport, RI.Reading table with candle holders (c1750) by Pierre IV Migeon at Petit Palace Museum. Paris, France.

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All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Jim Steinhart.
All rights reserved. Permission required to use.

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