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A PAIR OF CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY LYRE-BACK SIDE CHAIRS
A PAIR OF CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY LYRE-BACK SIDE CHAIRS

ATTRIBUTED TO DUNCAN PHYFE, NEW YORK, 1815-1825

Details
A PAIR OF CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY LYRE-BACK SIDE CHAIRS
Attributed to Duncan Phyfe, New York, 1815-1825
The bowed tablet crest above a lyre-form splat and trapezoidal slipseat, on waterleaf-carved sabre legs with hairy paw feet
32¾in. high (2)
Provenance
Israel Sack, Inc., New York City

Lot Essay

Reflecting the young United States democratic ideals, the furniture of the early 19th century was inspired by classical Greco-Roman motifs. The lyre-back chairs offered here, with their reeded stiles and seat rails miming the Greek klismos and their natural legs and backwards-flowing fur reflecting a Roman style, are a paradigm of this trend. Although other craftsmen were producing similar chairs during this period, the high quality carving of these chairs indicate the work of Duncan Phyfe. A sketch attributed to Phyfe that was attached to a bill dated 1816 to Charles N. Bancker of Philadelphia illustrates the earliest American design of a lyre-back chair with tablet. Additional support of the Phyfe attribution can be found in the 1816-1817 watercolor painted by John Ruben Smith, where two women in Duncan Phyfes New York City shop and warehouse admire two lyre-back chairs such as these.
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