American Decorative Arts



Mahogany, birch, white pine

38 9/16 × 79 1/4 × 25 1/4 in. (97.9 × 201.3 × 64.1 cm) other (Seat): 14 1/16 × 81 7/8 in.(35.7 × 208 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
Sofas were primarily for sitting; daybeds or couches, for reclining. However, these terms tended to be used interchangeably. The English cabinetmaker Thomas Sheraton introduced a design for a square sofa in his 1793 Drawing Book. The book was utilized by the Salem, Massachusetts cabinetmaker who made this sofa.
19th century
Made in Salem, Massachusetts
On view

This sofa was owned by the White family of Salem, Massachusetts, and was bought at the sale of the effects of Captain Joseph White; Francis Hill Bigelow, Cambridge, Mass.; Francis P. Garvan, New York, NY (1924).


Anderson Galleries, New York, Colonial Furniture: The Superb Collection of Mr. Francis Hill Bigelow of Cambridge, Mass., Part One, sale cat. (January 17, 1924), 84.

American Art Galleries, New York, Colonial Furniture: The Superb Collection of Mr. Francis Hill Bigelow, sale cat. (January 17, 1924), 84.

Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury, 1st ed., 3 vols. (Framingham, Mass.: Old American Company Publishers, 1928–33), n.p., fig. 1706.

Joseph Downs, “Some English and American Furniture in the Inaugural Exhibition,” The Pennsylvania Museum Bulletin 23 (May 1928): 110, fig. J.

Fiske Kimball, “Furniture Carvings by Samuel McIntire,” Antiques 18 (December 1930): 498, fig. 1, 1a.

John T. Kirk, Early American Furniture: How to Recognize, Evaluate, and Care for the Most Beautiful Pieces: High Style, Country, Primitive and Rustic (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), 54, fig. 40.

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), btwn200-1; 240-2, no. 226, fig. Pl. 15.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 93, 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.