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A Very Fine Mahogany Sheraton Sofa with Large Carved Crest Tablets, New York City, c.1800, Attributed to the Duncan Phyfe Workshop

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Exhibited: Metropolitan Museum of Art (1923)

Illustrated: Lockwood, Luke Vincent. Colonial Furniture in America, vol. II, fig. 660

Provenance: R.T. Haines Halsey, Francis P. Garvan, Bernard & S. Dean Levy

This important crest rail is composed of three large carved panels. The two outside panels are carved with drapery festoons secured by pairs of bowknots. The center panel shows radiating bellflower streamers which surround an oval reserve enclosing a cluster of arrows. This center crest has been found on silver owned by the Cameron family.  James Cameron fought as a Royalist during the Revolution and settled in New York State in 1790.

The front legs are finely turned and reeded and end in brass casters. The legs at each end of the sofa continue up past the seat rail and form the slender reeded urn-shaped arm supports. The rear legs are square in form and also end with brass casters. The reeded arms follow the shape of the sides and end with applied rosettes on each side at the rounded terminal. The proportions of this small scale sofa contrast dramatically with the profound dimension of the tablets, evidencing the hand and design of a master.

This sofa is illustrated in Luke Vincent Lockwood’s Colonial Furniture in America, Vol. II, Fig. 660, and was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1923. It was formerly in the New York collections of R.T. Haines Halsey, Francis P. Garvan, and Bernard & S. Dean Levy. Primary wood: Mahogany
Secondary wood: ash, poplar

Related Images:  There are three known sofas of this form having similar distinctive carving.  See images below.

Height: 37 1/2 in. Width: 75 in. Depth: 27 in.
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