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American "French Sideboard" Attributable to Duncan Phyfe, New York, circa 1815

$115,000

About

An exceptionally fine and rare "French Sideboard Table" in mahogany, attributable to the workshop of the eminent New York cabinetmaker, Duncan Phyfe, circa 1810-1818. This exquisite Federal/ Empire sideboard in a richly figured bookmatched mahogany has carved pineapple finials that rest on a stepped backboard, flanked by fire-gilded bronze side galleries. There are three drawers with gilt bronze lion-ring handles supported by engaged classical columns over a cabinet with four doors. Base rests on six tapered block feet that terminate on finely-carved lions paws in the front and turned balusters in the rear. Baseboard molding is reeded. The secondary wood is also mahogany, which is unusual for any period in furniture-making and a decision reserved for only the finest pieces. While of the period, it seems the lion head pulls have been added but are in keeping with what would have been on the piece originally. Measures: 79 1/2" long x 26" deep x 43 1/2" high. Why do we attribute our "French Sideboard" to Duncan Phyfe and not Charles-Honoré Lannuier? After researching Phyfe's known work and examining closely the Lannuier sideboard in the Metropolitan Museum, our attribution rests on the uniqueness of the four carved feet and the description and depiction of the Louis Myers' sideboard in the auction catalogue from Anderson Galleries' sale number 3696 in 1932, and Nancy McClelland's book Phyfe and the English Regency, as well as the Phyfe room depicted at the Henry Ford Museum, a collection of Phyfe Furniture assembled in the 1920's. The Lannuier foot at the Metropolitan is decidedly different than those seen in Phyfe's work. It may be altogether unique to Lannuier's work. There are no examples of a Phyfe "French" sideboard at the Metropolitan Museum so we are relying on two publications: Nancy McClelland's book Phyfe and the English Regency published in 1939. There is an example of a Phyfe "French Sideboard" on page 173, plate 155. It is nearly identical to ours with the exception of the bowed and reeded center doors. We note that it does have pineapple finials and the identical fire-gilded brass gallery that our sideboard has. The carved feet are formed and articulated in an identical way. The elevation of the foot and its architecture look to be done by the same carver and seem to be unique to Phyfe. The second book is the auction catalogue of Louis Myers' collection. The photo on page 83 and the description of the sideboard on page 70, item 345. The photograph shows our sideboard which is identical this time in regard to the center doors that are banded by a cross cut mahogany surrounding a crotch veneer and are flat like ours, not curved and reeded. The fire-gilded brass galleries are different; they have turned balusters unlike ours and there are no pineapple finials, however the carved feet, once again, have the same elevation and architecture of the McClelland Sideboard, and our sideboard. There seem to be few surviving or published examples of the "French" sideboards produced by Phyfe and Lannuier from 1815-1818. There are fewer examples of the type with the carved foot found on the Phyfe French sideboards. We believe that the carver for the McClelland sideboard, the Myers sideboard and our sideboard is the same carver, and that this carver was employed by the Phyfe workshop around 1815 and was responsible for the feet of all three examples. Description of Myers sideboard from the auction catalogue in 1932: “Empire Carved Mahogany Sideboard, Duncan Phyfe, New York, circa 1815. The front in beautifully crotched light mahogany banded with cross cut mahogany contains three drawers with brass lion-mask and ring handles, above four doors enclosing cupboards; flanking the cupboards are reeded columns with acanthus leaf capitals and molded plinth, supported by on lion paw feet; the rear supports are of conventional baluster type. At each end is a drawer-out shelf just below the top, which is bordered with a gallery composed of a back panel finely figured, and a balustered brass rail at each end. Measures: Height 49 inches; length, 6 feet 1 inch "

Details

  • Attributed to
    Duncan Phyfe (Cabinetmaker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 43.5 in. (110.49 cm)Width: 79.5 in. (201.93 cm)Depth: 26 in. (66.04 cm)
  • Style
    Federal (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
    Brass,Mahogany,Cast,Hand-Carved,Polished,Turned
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1815
  • Condition
    Additions or alterations made to the original: Pineapple finials may have been added or replaced. Lion head pulls have been added. They may be period but probably not original to sideboard. Some locks have been replaced. Refinished. Wear consistent with age and use. This sideboard has been well-documented with photographs, including photos of individual screws, the interior, with details of all of the parts and a full condition report. Please contact us for additional photographs and information.
  • Seller Location
    Miami, FL
  • Reference Number
    Seller: BUF000031stDibs: LU98811040742

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Ships From: Miami, FL
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
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Located in Miami, FL
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