The settle, an elongated form of the wainscot chair, was the earliest form of seat furniture to accommodate two or more people. In England settles were made principally in oak and date back to c. 1500. Most extant examples date from the 17th and 18th centuries and are of joined and pegged construction. Settles were popular from c. 1700 in America, were pine and walnut were used as alternatives to oak.
The more comfortable chair-back settee evolved from the settle in the first half of the 18th century.Found principally in walnut before c.1735 and in mahogany through the Chippendale period, these were generally made in double or triple chair-back form, and in most cases their design corresponds exactly with that of chairs. The other main 18th century development from the settle was the fully upholstered,long seat or settee with a carved frame, where the wood was exposed (show-wood).
|Edwardian inlaid mahogany double chair back settee|