Wingback Chairs: Traditional vs. Modern

Wingback Chairs: Traditional vs. Modern

Anne Reagan
Nov 4, 2009

Wingback chairs, although always in season, seem most appropriate in the Fall and Winter. Visions of sitting near a blazing fire, reading a favorite book – isn't that what winter hibernating is all about?

Wingback chairs first made their debut in the 1700s in Europe where they quickly imported into American homes. The design of the "wings" were really to shield delicate female skin from the roaring, hot fires as well as to shield the sitter from drafts.

The design of the wingback chair hasn't changed much until more recent times. In the 1950s and 1960s we saw modernism redefining how we experience furniture and challenging us to see the traditional form within a nontraditional style.

We've rounded up some traditional as well as more contemporary versions of this library room favorite.


Top row, left to right:

1. French Upholstered Wing Chair: $1595 - $1995 at Restoration Hardware

2. Chelsea Wing Chair: $1250 - $2550 at Williams Sonoma Home

3. Thurston Wing Chair: $699 - $955 at Ballard Designs

4. Whitman Wingback Chair: $1099 at Crate & Barrel

5. Gates Chair: $699 at West Elm


Bottom row, left to right:

1. Peekaboo Wing Chair by Bla Station: see website for details at Connox

2. Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair: $5934 at Hive Modern

3. Wingback Chair by Tom Dixon for George Smith: see website for details

4. Moroso Take a Line For A Walk: $5395 at Velocity

5. Corsica Club Chair by John Hutton for Holly Hunt: see website for details at Holly Hunt

For a great visual history of the wingback chair, visit Designboom

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