"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.