Ernest F. Hagen (German, 18301913)
New York City
Mahogany, cane; 36 x 59 5/8 x 30 in. (91.4 x 151.4 x 76.2 cm)
Gift of Lee McCanliss, 1961 (61.254)
Although the distinctively carved crest rail, inturned baluster-shaped arms, and reeded legs link this sofa to Duncan Phyfe's workshop, it postdates the famous cabinetmaker's career by over sixty years. On visual appearances alone, the piece could be confused with an original Phyfe settee. However, a close examination of the carved details and construction techniques reveals the sofa's true age. Furthermore, affixed to the frame is Ernest Hagen's trade label. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Hagen played a significant role in reviving Phyfe's designs through the restoration and reproduction of furniture manufactured in the "Antique" style. His chairs and sofas are often misidentified as authentic Phyfe works.