Classical Scrolled-back Grecian Sofa by Duncan Phyfe: The scrolled crest rail with a central panel with bas-relief carved intertwined cornucopia issuing fruit and wheat, flanked by panels with carved "thunder bolts" in a bow knot, the reeded arms with carved rosettes at the ends continue to a reeded seat rail raised on reeded saber legs with brass paw feet on casters. H: 34¼"  W: 90"  D: 23"
Detail of bas-relief carved "thunder-bolts" tied with ribbon in the left and right panels of the crest rail.
Detail of central crest rail bas-relief of intertwined cornucopia issuing wheat and fruits.
 Detail of bas-relief carved "thunder-bolts" tied with ribbon in the left and right panels of the crest rail.

CARVED MAHOGANY CLASSICAL SCROLLED-BACK GRECIAN SOFA

In the manner of Duncan Phyfe (1770-1854)

New York, c. 1815

The scrolled crest rail with a central panel with bas-relief carved intertwined cornucopia issuing fruit and wheat, flanked by panels with carved “thunder bolts” in a bow knot, the reeded arms with carved rosettes at the ends continue to a reeded seat rail raised on reeded saber legs with brass paw feet on casters.

H: 34¼”  W: 90″  D: 23″

Condition: Good: restoration to p.r. front leg and p.l. seat rail above leg.  Modern horsehair upholstery in the original color with conservation webbing and materials.

This is an iconic form in New York Classical furniture in the late-Sheraton style with influences of the French Directoire, illustrated in plate 7 from The New York Book of Prices for Manufacturing Cabinet and Chair Work, 1817, and relates to many sofas documented to Duncan Phyfe, c. 1810-1815.  The motifs of the carving are found on many Phyfe chairs and sofas and the quality of that carving is in every way comparable to the documented examples.  A curule-base sofa by Phyfe at the Metropolitan Museum with closely related crest rail carving can be seen here. The carved rosettes at the termination of the arms are a relatively rare and attractive feature.[1]

[1] Peter M. Kenny & Michael K. Brown, Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011), 158-167, 181.