Having a tall rectangular back with five separated panels, the slender vertical shaped arms raised on turned supports, the front legs are cabriole and end in pad feet, block rear legs.
The structure of the bench has remained essentially the same throughout history. Benches existed in two distinct types from the Middle Ages or even before-they could be movable or attached to the wall, often with a table incorporated. At the end of the twelfth century it became a fashion to place a bench at the foot of a bed, to serve for conversation. Benches known as "Flemish Forms" were imported from the Low Countries in the fifteenth century, while others were produced by Flemish craftsmen settled in the Eastern Counties of England.
Seats of this kind continued to be made throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when they were generally supported by turned legs. Because the large oak tables of this century were often provided with a collection of stools, which could easily be stored along the stretchers when not in use, fewer benches were made. This evolution continued during the 18th century, when plain oak specimens remained in use for modest residences, but great houses tended to replace the bench by day-beds and settees. Benches could still be seen in galleries and halls, but were scarcely distinguishable from long stools.
Literature: EDWARDS R. (ed.), The Dictionary of English Furniture: From the Middle Ages to the Late Georgian Period, Volume I, Woodbridge 1990, pp. 70-72.