Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A SET OF SIX CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY SIDE CHAIRS
PROPERTY FROM A CALIFORNIA COLLECTION
A SET OF SIX CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY SIDE CHAIRS

ATTRIBUTED TO THE SHOP OF DUNCAN PHYFE (1768-1854), NEW YORK, CIRCA 1818

Details
A SET OF SIX CLASSICAL CARVED MAHOGANY SIDE CHAIRS
ATTRIBUTED TO THE SHOP OF DUNCAN PHYFE (1768-1854), NEW YORK, CIRCA 1818
32 in. high (6)
Provenance
Mr. and Mrs. Henry McFarlan, Vesey Street, New York, 1818
Morton Hope and Beale Wilson, great-grandchildren
Alice E. Browne, 1882
Mrs. Amory Haskell
Mr. and Mrs. Winslow Ames
Sold Christie's, New York, 17 June 1997, lot 430
A Private Collector
Sold Christie's, New York, 18 June 2003, lot 177

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

With their outscrolling tablet crestrails, each embellished with carved cornucopiae above a croisillion-back and rosette splats, reeded stiles over a caned seat, and hairy carved legs with paw feet, this exceptional set of chairs can be attributed to the shop of New York City cabinetmaker Duncan Phyfe. Extant documentation encourages the attribution to Phyfe. In a sketch found with a bill of sale delivered to Charles N. Bancker in 1816, Phyfe illustrates two chairs that exhibit all of the aforementioned design elements found in this set (Charles F. Montgomery, American Furniture: The Federal Period (New York, 1966), cat. 72a).

Additional examples of related pieces of furniture from Phyfe's shop strengthen the attribution of these chairs. Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the same croisillion back decorates the suite of furniture made by Phyfe's shop for Thomas Cornell Pearsall. Further, in 1816, Phyfe's shop was commissioned to make a large group of furniture for James Lefferts Brinkerhoff, including a pair of lyre-back side chairs with closely related caned seats, reeded front rails and hair legs and paw feet.

Four of the six chairs offered here were sold at auction in 1944 as part of the collection of the late Mrs. J. Amory Haskell (Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 17-20 May 1944, lot 762). According to that catalogue entry, the chairs, along with a settee now in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, were made by Duncan Phyfe in 1818 for Henry McFarlan of New York City.

For the related examples, please see Marshall B. Davidson and Elizabeth Stillinger, The American Wing: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1985), p. 71 and Jeanne Vilbert Sloane, "A Duncan Phyfe Bill and the Furniture It Documents," The Magazine Antiques (May 1987), fig. 7. A pair of identical chairs is illustrated in Israel Sack, Inc., American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, vol. I, no. 545, p. 213.
;

Related Articles

View all
The A-Z of furniture: Terminol auction at Christies
‘A man of great sensibility’:  auction at Christies
‘These women of mine are hones auction at Christies

More from Important American Furniture, Folk Art, English Pottery, Rugs & Prints

View All
View All