SPECIAL ADVISORY: The Yale University Art Gallery is open to the public on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays and offers access to Yale ID holders on weekdays. Learn More

American Decorative Arts



Mahogany; seat rails, American ash

15 1/4 × 19 1/4 × 15 9/16 in. (38.7 × 48.9 × 39.5 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
Footstools were a common element in late Federal-era parlors. Although most curule furniture was made in New York City, the origins of this stool—one of a pair—has been ascribed to Salem, Massachusetts, based on the carving of the leaves and the reeded urn turning on the stool’s medial stretcher. British architect Thomas Hope illustrated stools of this type, but the form is also closely related to French sources, notably those published by designer Pierre de la Mésangère.
Probably made in Salem, Massachusetts
19th century

Frank McCarthy, Longmeadow, Mass.; Francis P. Garvan, New York, (1929); The Mabel Brady Garvan Collection.


Nancy A. McClelland, Duncan Phyfe and the English Regency, 1795–1830 (New York: William Scott, 1935), 94, pl. 85.

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), 216-17, no. 201, ill.

David L. Barquist and Ethan Lasser, Curule: Ancient Design in American Federal Furniture, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2003), 42–44, no. 12, ill.

Jock Reynolds, “Director’s Report,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2004): 13, 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.