American Decorative Arts
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Maker: possibly: Duncan Phyfe, American, 1768–1854

Settee

1810–20

Mahogany with cane

88.1 x 147.003 x 60.96 cm (34 11/16 x 57 7/8 x 24 in.)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
1930.2633
During the Federal period, furniture makers became increasingly interested the archeological accuracy of their designs. The curule (or overlapping S curve) base on this settee derives from similar forms depicted on ancient coins and vases. Animal paw feet and drapery swags also reference ancient sources. The single, dramatic curule is unusual for a settee; more common are settees with saber legs or a series of curules.
Geography: 
Made in New York City, New York, North America
Culture: 
American
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Furniture
Status: 
Viewable by appointment
Bibliography: 

Luke Vincent Lockwood, Colonial Furniture in America, 3rd ed., 2 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1926), vol. 2, p. 162, fig. 665.

Nancy A. McClelland, Duncan Phyfe and the English Regency, 1795–1830 (New York: William Scott, 1935), 166, pl. 147.

Meyric R. Rogers, “The Mabel Brady Garvan Collection of Furniture,” Yale Alumni Magazine 25, no. 4 (January 1962): 14, ill.

Patricia E. Kane, 300 Years of American Seating Furniture Chairs and Beds from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976), 246-247, no. 230, ill.

David L. Barquist and Ethan Lasser, Curule: Ancient Design in American Federal Furniture, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2003), 40–41, no. 10, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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