Household furniture styles have arrive and gone in America over the centuries. The exception is furnishings developed by American home furnishings craftsman Duncan Phyfe (1768-1854).
Far more than 300 cabinetmakers established Phyfe-design pieces concerning 1810 and 1820 and quite a few nevertheless are.
Possibly most acquainted of all the original Phyfe models was his use of the lyre and harp on chair backs and table bases. On the other hand, to collectors and historians, he provided a completely diverse home furnishings idea based mostly on Greek and Roman furniture.
It started in his New York workshop. On the other hand, because his employees remaining his employ from time to time, it wasn’t very long just before similar time period pieces were made in other pieces of the state. For the reason that they also utilised the high quality mahogany and the great workmanship uncovered in Phyfe’s workshop, with out an attribution or label, it is challenging to notify if numerous of the pieces have been actually overseen by Phyfe.
A revival of interest in the Federal interval (1790-1830) in the early 1900s resulted in a wave of reproductions, which includes Duncan Phyfe types.
1 of the ideal acknowledged cabinetmakers to produce “Phyfe-style” furnishings was Ernest F. Hagen, whose workshop was also in New York. Many significant collectors in the early 20th century used Hagen reproductions along with reliable parts, in holding with the Federal revival. These days, they lead to excellent confusion, but Hagen’s items can market for many thousand pounds when signed or with historical attribution.
CLUES: The exact same rules apply in authenticating Phyfe items, early and later on reproductions. Determine very first what era you are preparing to obtain. If you’re looking at a supposedly early, unmarked piece, does it have a letter of attribution that is equivalent in building to a documented piece?
How many instances have you noticed tags of attribution attached to large-priced antique furniture at extravagant antique displays? It is usually only the dealer’s word that suggests the piece is authentic, and not each dealer is an authority.
While every person has information on how to explain to 18th century household furniture from 19th and 20th century reproductions, my very own technique begins with emotion under tables and on the backs of chests and other home furnishings that was made to stand towards the wall. They will be tough and unfinished.
Marks from planing resources ought to really feel tough to the touch. The similar goes for the undersides of drawers.
Observed marks on pieces manufactured right before 1830 ought to be cross-hatched, not semicircular.
Labels have been made use of on reproductions for a prolonged time. Several a long time in the past, I ran across a supposedly Federal match table.
On the back was a label that read, “This desk was handmade.” Widespread perception would explain to you that just about every table was handmade in the 18th century. Further more inspection underneath revealed a easy completed area — obviously a 20th century copy.
If you like the search of Phyfe-styled home furnishings, there are loads of shopping for possibilities at all varieties of prices. Better nonetheless, look at your personal spouse and children antique home furnishings. Perhaps you have an 18th century heirloom.