During the second quarter of the eighteenth century, the bold turnings, attenuated proportions, and dynamic surfaces of the Early Baroque, or William and Mary, style were subdued in favor of gracefully curved outlines, classical proportions, and restrained surface ornamentation. This new style, variously called late Baroque, early Georgian, or Queen Anne, was a blend of several influences, including Baroque, classical, and Asian. Boston was the leading colonial city in the early eighteenth century and the first to implement aspects of the new style. "Crooked" or S-curved chair backs, which conformed to the shape of the sitter's spine, first appeared there in the 1720s. This feature was borrowed from Asian designs and reflected a growing concern for comfort in the period. By the 1730s Boston makers had developed a standard chair form with a vase-shaped splat and S-curved cabriole legs (46.192.2). With their rounded outlines, chairs of this type represented a dramatic departure from the stiff, straight chair backs of the preceding eras.
Boston makers produced thousands of Queen Anne-style chairs for export and sold them to other colonies as part of the inter-coastal trade. In Philadelphia, craftsmen responded to competition from Boston imports by developing distinctive seating forms with more elaborately curved lines (62.171.21). Revealing the Late Baroque emphasis on negative space, the solid splat and the flanking stiles were carefully designed so as to produce a gracefully curved void between them. Case furniture in the Late Baroque style became more architectural, with proportions and ornament derived from Renaissance precedents. New translations of Andrea Palladio's Four Books of Architecture (1570) provided craftsmen with formulas for determining proper proportions while offering a range of classically inspired ornament. By the 1730s Boston makers were incorporating cabriole legs and broken-scroll pediments into high chests of drawers (10.