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A CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY SOFA
Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE WESTERVELT COMPANY
A CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY SOFA

NEW YORK, CIRCA 1820

Details
A CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY SOFA
NEW YORK, CIRCA 1820
36 in. high, 91 in. wide, 27 ½ in. deep
Provenance
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York
Literature
Tom Armstrong, Amy Coes, Ella Foshay, and Wendell Garrett, An American Odyssey: The Warner Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts (New York, 2001), pp. 20, 168, 188.
Special notice

Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

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Lot Essay

"The dramatic dolphin-ended sofas made in New York and Philadelphia are among the most scintillating pieces of early nineteenth-century American seating furniture, and a distinctly American expression" (Wendy A. Cooper, Classical Taste in America (Baltimore, 1993), p. 150). The carved dolphins on this sofa are an elaborate and sophisticated survival of New York's Classical style. Rich with symbolic meaning, the dolphin motif was drawn from the designs of antiquity and can be seen in classical mosaics and Minoan Pottery. The dolphin motif also alluded to Lord Nelson's maritime defeat of Napoleon and at the same time, had associations with the dauphin, the title of the heir apparent to the King of France. Although this title was dissolved with the creation of the French Republic in 1791, the dolphin continued to appear in French furniture designs in the nineteenth century (Elizabeth and Stuart Feld, The World of Duncan Phyfe: The Arts of New York, 1800-1847 (New York, 2011), p. 67). For a similar example see Christie’s, New York, 16 December 2005, lot 6. For a related example with dolphin head feet see Christie’s, New York, 25 September 2013, lot 109.

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