MONUMENTAL DOUBLE-LEMON-TOP BRASS ANDIRONS
David Phillips (active 1804-1818)
Stamped: D. PHILLIPS
New York, c. 1810
Each brass andiron with smaller belted “lemon” finials above a larger belted “lemon” above a hexagonal standard above splayed cabriole legs with spurs at the knees and calves, raised on ball feet with iron billet bars. D. PHILLIP/ N. YORK is stamped in the iron behind the brass post.
H: 25″ D: 21″
David Phillips was among the most prolific of the New York brass founders in the Federal era. His mark appears on steeple-top, urn-top and lemon-top models. This is the tallest example of the lemon-top form, bearing his stamp, that we have ever seen.
Longworth’s American Almanac (the New York City directory) lists Phillips as a brass-founder at or near 112 Henry Street in Manhattan for most of his career. This street, only two blocks from the East River docks, beneath where the Manhattan Bridge is today, was a center for brass founders. Richard Whittingham, Sr. (1747-1821), and his sons Richard, Jr., Charles and Joseph are listed as brass-founders throughout the period at various Henry Street addresses (including #’s 79, 80 & 95), as well as John Griffiths and Morgan Morgans, Jr. at number 107. It is likely that the multiple changes of address along Henry Street reflect renumbering of the street over time rather that the movement of the brass foundries. Brass founder Edward Smylie (active 1827-49) was listed in the City directories at the corner of Pike and Henry Street. Robert Wallace, another brass-founder, was only a block away at 18 Cherry Street. This strategic location is perfectly suited to offer the shortest possible distance from the ships that supplied the heavy raw materials of the brass-founders’ trade as well as for the convenient servicing of the ships themselves with all their brass and iron parts.