Armchair (one of a pair)

about 1820
Attributed to Duncan Phyfe (American (born in Scotland), 1770–1854)

Object Place: New York, New York, United States

Catalogue Raisonné

Eighteenth-Century American Arts No. 118


Overall: 81.9 x 52.7 x 61.6 cm (32 1/4 x 20 3/4 x 24 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany, cherry, cane, modern cushion

On View

C. Kevin and G. Barrie Landry Gallery (Gallery 126)




Seating and beds

Back: rectangular form curving back, concaved lines horizontally. Bowed rails, opposed, have carved rosette in middle; top rail carved with cornucopiae, bow knot and wheat ears. Arms: double-curved arm rails spring from back posts to turned supporting posts carved and reed-moulded. Seat: caned. Reed-moulded front and side rails (cherry braces). Legs: curved, cross-legged supports braced with turned stretchers..

Among the best-known names in American furniture, Phyfe’s progressive business included a large workshop and a retail store. Because of Phyfe’s fame, early scholars falsely attributed to his workshop many pieces of New York furniture in the Neoclassical style. Today, scholars struggle to determine what Phyfe made, and what was made by cabinetmakers working in the same style. Based on the carved cornucopia on the crest rails and the cross-legged, curule base-both of which are similar to drawings or labeled pieces by Phyfe-these armchairs and the sofa, exhibited nearby, are attributed to him.


Purchased at auction for The M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts" and given to the Museum in 1939.

Credit Line

The M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts