Lolling Chair

Collection Type

  • Furniture






Brass castered feet; heavy front legs feature twist and bun turnings and pineapple carved stump arms; shaped arm rests supported by square uprights tapered at top; shaped canted rear legs, boldly serpentine front apron and crest rail.


Descriptive Terms

lolling chairs
mahogany (wood)


In the early and mid-nineteenth century, Portsmouth, New Hampshire became a leading site for furniture production. Trailing only Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, the region produced furniture for export as well as for local sale. One of the most successful furniture makers was Langley Boardman. Town records show his rise in status, changing from "cabinetmaker" to "merchant" by 1816, then to "gentleman" by 1822 and to "Esquire" by 1825. Unlike most men who achieved great wealth, Boardman did not relinquish his trade and never gave up cabinetmaking. He built a fine house just down the street from James Rundlet's mansion. There are many examples of Portsmouth furniture owned by James Rundlet in the Rundlet-May House.
This example of a lolling chair, first owned by Samuel Lord, was possibly made by one of Portsmouth's leading cabinet makers, Langley Boardman, in the 1820s. Lord's daughter, Mary Elizabeth Lord Morrison, chose to be portrayed sitting in the chair when she commissioned U.D. Tenney to paint her portrait in 1874. Her daughter, Mary Ann Morrison married James Rundlet May and after the sale of her childhood home to the Portsmouth Historical Society in the early twentieth century, she brought many family items to the Rundlet-May House.

Associated Building

Original to Rundlet-May House (Portsmouth, N.H.),



Location of Origin

Portsmouth, NH


45 1/2 x 26 x 21 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Ralph May

Accession Number



New Hampshire (United States)