Sofa, Attributed to Duncan Phyfe (1770–1854), Mahogany, tulip poplar, cane, gilded brass, American


Attributed to Duncan Phyfe (1770–1854)
ca. 1810–20
Made in New York, New York, United States
Mahogany, tulip poplar, cane, gilded brass
34 x 84 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. (86.4 x 215.3 x 60.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of C. Ruxton Love Jr., 1960
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 728
This sofa is part of a large suite of seating furniture in the Museum's collection that includes a pair of armchairs, ten side chairs, and two footstools once owned by Thomas Cornell Pearsall, a wealthy New York merchant and shipowner. Other chairs from the set are owned by the Museum of the City of New York. The attribution to Phyfe is based on the set's traditional history of ownership which is recorded in an inscription stamped on the inside of the seat rails on the sofa and several of the chairs. The skillful execution of the details also points to Phyfe. The curule-base design for the suite derives from Greco-Roman seating forms illustrated and described in the 1808 supplement to the London "Chairmakers' and Carvers' Book of Prices."
Inscription: [modern stamp on inside of seat rail] Thomas Cornell Pearsall made / for him by Duncan Phyfe
Thomas Cornell Pearsall, New York, (1768–1820); his daughter, Phoebe Pearsall (1813–1895); her niece Frances Pearsall Bradhurst (1834–1907) (Mrs. Augustus Field); her daughter Mary Field (1860–1942) (Mrs. Henry Wilmerding Payne); her nieces Frances Field Walker (Mrs. Samuel S. Walker) and Mary Field Hoving (Mrs. Osgood F. Hoving), until 1946; C. Ruxton Love, Jr., Greenwich, Connecticut, until 1960.