Side Chair

Date: 1810–20

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

Culture: American

Medium: Mahogany with ash, yellow poplar

Dimensions: 32 1/4 x 21 3/4 x 18 3/8 in. (81.9 x 55.2 x 46.7 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Gift of the family of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Varick Stout, in their memory, 1965

Accession Number: 65.188.2


The delicate framing and lyre-shaped splat of this chair are considered hallmarks of the Phyfe style. The cabinetmaker included a drawing of a similar chair in an 1816 letter to prominent Philadelphian Charles Bancker. This particular example is thought to be part of a set of twenty-four produced by Phyfe's workshop. Early historians claimed that New Jersey governor William Livingston (1723–1790) purchased the chairs, but they date to a period well past his death. Two other known sets of lyre-back chairs from 1810–20 are also attributed to Phyfe.