In the manner of Duncan Phyfe (1770-1854)

New York, c. 1815

CARVED MAHOGANY GRECIAN SOFA with scrolled back and arms, saber legs terminating in brass lions-paw feet with caster wheels.  Burgundy horsehair upholstery.

The scrolled crest rail with five inlaid panels of crotch mahogany bordered with brass stringing, the reeded arms with turned bosses continue to a reeded seat rail raised on reeded saber legs with brass paw feet on casters.

H: 32½”  W: 84″  D: 26″

Condition: Excellent; Modern horsehair upholstery in the original pattern 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.  The form is illustrated in plate 7 from The New York Book of Prices for Manufacturing Cabinet and Chair Work, 1817.   It relates to many sofas documented to Duncan Phyfe, c. 1810-1815.  Related Grecian sofas are illustrated in Nancy McClelland’s Duncan Phyfe and the English Regency 1795-1830 (New York: William R. Scott, Inc., 1939), 166-169, and in the catalog of the exhibition of Phyfe’s work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.[1]  An other related sofa is in the collection of the New York State Museum in Albany.[2]  The brass string inlay is a rare and desirable feature not found in any of the published examples.

A related Grecian sofa is available on this website.


[1] Peter M. Kenny & Michael K. Brown, Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011), 185.

[2] Illustrated in John L. Scherer, New York Furniture: The Federal Period 1788-1825 (Albany: The University of the State of New York, 1988), 24.

Leave a Reply