The individual wing or wingback chair was created based on the design of the high backed settle which had the same principle but seated at least two people. Settles and the first wing chairs were just wood since the design preceded upholstery. I don't have a date on when upholstered furniture came to be but I've heard that it was about the time ladies began wearing fewer petticoats and demanded softer seats. Historically, we know it existed in the 1700's because Betsy Ross was in the business. She took over her husband's upholstery shop after his death. Did you know that she was a Quaker and John Ross was an Episcopalian? She was banished from Quakerhood. A little more history tells that she probably did not make the first American flag. Oh well. She might have upholstered a wingback chair similar to this one since she was also known for her decorative needlework.
For many years it was en vogue to cover a wing chair in crewel work.
It is amusing that the chair's side pieces were called by different names in different countries. In England they were known as cheeks or lugs. Hepplewhite called them saddle cheeks. In France, they were known as ears. Whatever one calls them, they are comfortable and warm if placed near the fire on a winter's day.
I yearn to spend a late afternoon by the fire in this French beauty.
Paint your own picture. A fire, a book, a dog, a drink and perhaps a pleasant companion. For myself, I might play a little Diana Krall. I find her wonderfully soothing. With or without. Any or all. What's your pleasure in your chair with wings?