Maker: Attributed to Pottier and Stymus Manufacturing Company (active ca. 1859–1910)

Date: ca. 1870–75

Geography: Made in New York, New York, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Rosewood, prickly juniper veneer

Dimensions: 37 x 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. (94 x 69.9 x 69.9 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Funds from various donors, 1970

Accession Number: 1970.35.1


While a number of New York cabinetmakers produced Egyptian Revival furniture with motifs such as sphinx heads, animal feet, palmettes, and lotus leaves during the 1870s, the firm of Pottier & Stymus is most often associated with the style. This armchair and a matching side chair (1970.35.2) are not marked or labeled, but the attribution to Pottier & Stymus is supported by the cabinetmaker Ernest Hagen’s description of their work “with brass gilt sphinx heads on the sofas and armchairs, gilt engraved lines all over with porcailaine [sic] painted medallions on the backs, and brass gilt bead moldings nailed on.” The chairs retain their original French Aubusson-style tapestry coverings, although the once brilliant turquoise background has faded to the present wheat color.