1182

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana

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New York

Fine Classical Brass Inlaid, Carved and Figured Mahogany Drop-Leaf Dining Table, School of Duncan Phyfe, New York, 1815-1820

Provenance

Estate of Mrs. L.K. Ladue, Statesboro, Georgia;
Carswell Rush Berlin, Inc., New York.

Catalogue Note

The design of this table can be traced back to Thomas Sheraton who introduced to the broader world the earliest influences of ancient furniture adopted for ' modern' use in his Cabinet Dictionary (London, 1803). In plate 44 he illustrates a "Dumb Waiter" with four splayed "saber" legs with plain brass toe cap casters almost identical to the present example. In plate 64, "Pillars for Tables and Stands," two of the five designs were probably the inspiration for the multiple ring turned pedestal of this table.

Of dense and richly figured San Domingo mahogany, this table bears many hall marks of the Phyfe shop including the extreme high quality of the wood and, most importantly, the style of the turning on the pedestal and carving at the knees that relates directly to many tables attributed to Phyfe. The knee carving can be seen in a group of card tables, one, pictured in Nancy McClelland's definitive study, Duncan Phyfe and the English Regency (New York, 1939), plate 239, was made by Phyfe for his neighbor John Jacob Astor. A closely related pair of card tables with the same carving is in the collection of the Governor's Mansion of the State of Texas in Austin.

This distinctive carving can also be seen on a dining table made for William Gaston of Savannah in plate 262 of McClelland's book. In plate 282, McClelland shows a part of a dining table made by Phyfe for Charles Gustavus Smedberg which exhibits the same carving at the knee. Also attributed to Phyfe are: a closely related drop-leaf dining table with identical turned pedestal, pictured in American Antiques from Israel Sack, vol. V, 1974, p.1297; a pair of bronze-mounted rosewood card tables with a history in the Bronson family of South Carolina, offered in the collection of Ronald S. Kane (Christie's January 22, 1994, lot 379); and a drum table in the library of the White House, with the same distinctive turned pedestal and carved legs (see American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, vol. VI, (New York, 1979), p.50). This rare single-pedestal dining table seats eight comfortably.

Important Americana

|
New York