Its popularity rose dramatically after the Protestant Reformation, as the chairs were plain in style, a trait valued by early Protestants.
The chair came across the Atlantic with the early American colonists.
Provenance is the custodial history of the antique. As with all antiques, the quality of the craftsmanship determines a great deal of the value.
Most ladderbacks of the 18th century had arms, although armless chairs were common.Some are rockers, some are not; rockers were sometimes added later.It was easy to construct, simple in design and affordable to make.Today, these classic chairs are desirable pieces for antique collectors.The posts of the chair are perpendicular to each other and were usually turned, or rounded, on a lathe.
The classic version features a high back and a woven rush seat.
The most popular finishes were stain or paint, usually in red or black.
The ladderback is believed to originate in the Middle Ages in Europe.
It served as a dining chair, a "sitting" chair and a pew chair.
Quakers used it as the chair for their meeting houses.
Furniture makers in Philadelphia, Boston and other colony centers made it and sold to all classes of colonists.