How to Judge Antique Furniture Part 3

A gaming table, once attributed to Duncan Phyfe, in
the Benkard Room at the Museum of The City of New York,
is so marked with the name “Lannuier” on the edge of a
drawer side. Lannuier worked in New York from 1790 to
1819, probably at first as a journeyman of Phyfe, but by 1805
he had established his own shop. Other pieces from his hands
have either a simple printed label or an elaborate one with
wording in both French and English.
His contemporary, Duncan Phyfe, evidently did not put
labels on his furniture except in rare instances, and then only
when it was to be shipped far from New York. Less than a
dozen labeled Phyfe pieces are known so far, most of them
found in the South. The Brooklyn Museum has a pair of
rosewood window benches decorated with gilt stenciling, on
one of which is his autograph. This signature, “D.Phyfe,” is
done in ink on the coarse white textile stretched over the
springs beneath the removable cushion. These benches were
originally owned by a customer living in Fayetteville, North
Carolina. Two different printed labels of this self-effacing
cabinetmaker are known. The earlier one bears the address,
35 Partition Street; and the later one, 170 Fulton Street.
One such label, dated August, 1820, reads: “D.Phyfe’s
CABINET WAREHOUSE, No. 170 Fulton street, New
York. N. B. Curled Hair Matrasses, Chair and Sofa Cushions.”
Grandfather clocks are apt to have the maker’s name on
the dial, and the label of the cabinetmaker who produced the
case attached to the back of the long door. Labels are also
found on the back of many mirror frames. John Elliot, who
worked in Philadelphia from 1753 to about 1780, used a
label that was printed in both English and German. Charles
DelVecchio, a New York maker of mirror glass and frames
from about 1801 to 1830, at times used a label printed in
Spanish, evidently for his West Indian trade. The last line
of this label stated: “C.Del Vecchio speaks Spanish, French,
English and Italian.”
Chairs
Many chairs are found with shortened legs. Much of
this mutilation was due to the rocking-chair mania which
1819, probably at first as a journeyman of Phyfe, but by 1805
he had established his own shop. Other pieces from his hands
have either a simple printed label or an elaborate one with
wording in both French and English.
His contemporary, Duncan Phyfe, evidently did not put
labels on his furniture except in rare instances, and then only
when it was to be shipped far from New York. Less than a
dozen labeled Phyfe pieces are known so far, most of them
found in the South. The Brooklyn Museum has a pair of
rosewood window benches decorated with gilt stenciling, on
one of which is his autograph. This signature, “D.Phyfe,” is
done in ink on the coarse white textile stretched over the
springs beneath the removable cushion. These benches were
originally owned by a customer living in Fayetteville, North
Carolina. Two different printed labels of this self-effacing
cabinetmaker are known. The earlier one bears the address,
35 Partition Street; and the later one, 170 Fulton Street.
One such label, dated August, 1820, reads: “D.Phyfe’s
CABINET WAREHOUSE, No. 170 Fulton street, New
York. N. B. Curled Hair Matrasses, Chair and Sofa Cushions.”
Grandfather clocks are apt to have the maker’s name on
the dial, and the label of the cabinetmaker who produced the
case attached to the back of the long door. Labels are also
found on the back of many mirror frames. John Elliot, who
worked in Philadelphia from 1753 to about 1780, used a
label that was printed in both English and German. Charles
DelVecchio, a New York maker of mirror glass and frames
from about 1801 to 1830, at times used a label printed in
Spanish, evidently for his West Indian trade. The last line
of this label stated: “C.Del Vecchio speaks Spanish, French,
English and Italian.” Continued in Part 4

 

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