Then again, the low-back is not structurally compromised when lengthened into a settee whereas the taller ones are, at least to some extent. These structural differences may account for the greater number of surviving low-backs.
Most settees had arms, but a few did not. Lacking the bracing function of arms, such a "side-settee" would have to be heavily built. It would be handy, however, when used along the side of a table where the kids could simply slide in or out without having to move the bench.
Love-seats were occasionally built like two blended chairs, with separate sculpted areas for each occupant.
The smallest settees were about 36 inches long; anything smaller would be hard pressed to accommodate two adults. Some of the smallest had four legs but most used six, if only to create a visually more balanced under-carriage. As a settee gets longer the medial stretcher(s) extends to disproportional lengths, unless the space is filled out with more legs. Consequently, the longest benches -- probably seven feet or so -- stood on eight or ten legs.
Bow-back settees, with sawn arms tenoned into the bow, seem to have been made more than sack-backs. Other types, made in even lesser numbers were the continuous-arm and fan-back, as well as the rare double- and triple-backs. Rod-back settees, starting around 1800, were made in the greatest numbers, as well as in the greatest variety of color, decoration and back design. In the first quarter of the nineteenth century rod-backs were often produced as part of a set: typically two arm-chairs, six side-chairs and a settee, all similarly constructed and decorated.
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