Side Chair

Maker: Possibly from the Workshop of Duncan Phyfe (1770–1854)

Maker: Duncan Phyfe & Sons (1837–1840, active New York)

Date: ca. 1830

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

Culture: American

Medium: Rosewood, ash, and tulip poplar

Dimensions: 32 3/4 x 17 5/16 x 18 3/16 in. (83.2 x 44 x 46.2 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Purchase, The Edgar J. Kaufmann Foundation Gift, 1968

Accession Number: 68.202.1


As craftsmen transitioned from the Early to the Late Grecian style (the latter is also referred to as the Grecian Plain Style), they began to incorporate more curvilinear shapes and new motifs. With a scrolled stay rail and an inverted lotus-shaped splat, this design is more abstract than the clearly delineated lyre-back chair attributed to Phyfe (65.188.2). This example is thought to come from Phyfe's shop based on the quality of the workmanship and a close stylistic connection to a set of chairs manufactured for Phyfe's daughter, Eliza Phyfe Vail (1801–1890).