Firescreen

Date: 1770

Geography: Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Mahogany

Dimensions: 62 7/8 x 21 in. (159.7 x 53.3 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Gifts and funds from various donors, by exchange, 1949

Accession Number: 49.51a, b

Description

This firescreen, one of a set of four, was made as part of the furnishings of General John Cadwalader's townhouse on Second Street in Philadelphia in 1770–71. The parlors of this house contained the most elaborate, and today the best documented, of all suites of American Rococo furniture. A January 14, 1771, entry in Thomas Affleck's accounts for furniture made for Cadwalader refers to "4 Mahogany fire screens @ 2-10 L10-0." Among the distinguishing features of this furniture are "hairy paw," rather than claw-and-ball, feet. The masterly carving of the screen compares with the documented work of the partners Bernard and Jugiez, to whom Affleck subcontracted some carving.

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