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A Classical Mahogany Card Table with 5 Reeded Legs, New York, Phyfe School, c.1810


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These tables form a grouping of New York furniture made by Phyfe and his contemporaries employing long, delicate reeded legs, which are very successful, because of the lift that is created with consequent lightness and airiness.   There are many variations of the form, and attached we show 7 known examples.

This table is in perfect condition, with its original casters et al.   It is an elliptical shaped top, also called a “cloved top”.    The mahogany figuring is magnificent; see details below.   These tables usually have a split running down the middle, which, to me, validates the table as a right piece, as the veneer top shrinks differently than the pine substrate.   This is usually filled with wax and is only an issue to those not familiar with the form.   Phyfe created this type of veneer top because solid tops most often warp either up or down with the seasons, no matter how well the wood was seasoned.  Phyfe sought to correct this by having a veneer applied over solid pine the ends of which are “breadboarded” with pine running in the opposite direction.

Examples of this form are at the Metropolitan Museum in New York as well as other exhibitions related to the best of Classical America.

Height: 31 in.   Width: 36 3/4 in.  Depth: 18 in. - 36 in.
$12,000
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