Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

Full Answer The legs on other Duncan Phyfe tables are slender, tapered and reeded. Some end in brass casters. Acanthus leaves can also be carved on the columns or pedestals that support the table tops. The supporting columns can also have spiral reeding or come in the shape of urns. The tabletops can also be supported by columns shaped like lyres, which was a favorite motif of Duncan Phyfe. Sometimes, the lyres had real strings that were made of brass. Another motif was the spread eagle that also supported the table top, along with acorn drops at the corners of the table aprons. Some Duncan Phyfe tables also have drop leaves, and some dining tables can be extended to seat more people. Much authentic Duncan Phyfe furniture also uses the best grade mahogany. The cabinetmaker did not use lighter woods as veneers but would use grained mahogany veneers with plainer mahogany. Learn more about Furniture Sources: metmuseum.org connectedlines.com antiqueshoppefl.com
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Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

Duncan Phyfe furniture was highly collected in the Federal period and later, in the 1930s to the 1950s, too. Reproduction Duncan Phyfe furniture–the furniture your grandmother owned in the era following World War II–has the same stylish and elegant look as the original Duncan Phyfe pieces. These reproductions have held their value well. For example, a vintage dining room set by Duncan Phyfe dating from the early to mid 1900s regularly sell for thousands of dollars. Do you have an original or reproduction?
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Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

While Eastlake furniture was a popular style in the late 19th century, Duncan Phyfe furniture designs are based on what was popular and fashionable in Europe in the late 1700s and early 1800s. European furniture designs informed the look of Duncan Phyfe furniture. Duncan Phyfe became the premiere name in furniture design in New York during this time period. Based on fancy furniture popular in France and England, Duncan Phyfe furniture demonstrated traits such as delicate chairs with thin, tapered legs and upholstered or cushioned seats and library, hall, and gaming tables which expanded on hinges to reveal leaves and lyre-back settees based on the form of an ancient Greek stringed musical instrument which resembled a harp.
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Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

Buble sings like Sinatra, but he’s not Sinatra! Buble singing Sinatra songs in the 2000s was a revival of Sinatra’s style which was popular in the 1950s. Similarly, this revival of the Duncan Phyfe style is seen in furniture designs in the early decades of the 1900s. It is common that such pieces have come to be known as simply “Duncan Phyfe”, but they are not authentic Duncan Phyfe pieces. They are merely Duncan Phyfe style.
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Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

You may have heard the word style used after the description of many objects — Tiffany style, Victorian style, etc. For instance, a Duncan Phyfe style dining room set (emphasis on the word style) differs from an original Duncan Phyfe dining room set. Many furniture makers worked in the manner of the late 18th-century craftsman, Duncan Phyfe.
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Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

Phyfe favored high-quality woods for the tables and other furniture he made. To identify original Duncan Phyfe pieces, compare some of the carvings found on table knees or legs to those of known Phyfe creation pictured online, in books or in museums. Phyfe used mahogany, black walnut, pear and apple woods, cherry, rosewood veneers and maple, among other hardwoods both domestic and exotic in his creations. Some of his more formal dining tables used a combination of woods, with the main body of the table being mahogany bordered by a satinwood inlay.
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Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

Between 1837 and 1847, Duncan Phyfe took his two sons, Michael and James, as business partners and the firm went under the names D. Phyfe & Sons (1837–1840) and after Michael’s premature death, D. Phyfe & Son (1840–1847). It was during the latter and final stages of the business’s history that perhaps the greatest challenge Phyfe ever faced emerged; how to cope with the new wave of historical revival styles. In 1840, one Southern planter who came to New York from Columbia, South Carolina, observed to his wife in a letter that the Phyfes were “as much behind the times in style as (they were) in price.” This is because the Phyfes always adhered to the classicist language until the end, they never fully engaged with the emerging historical revival styles (e.g. Baroque, Gothic, Rococo, etc.) that began in the 1830s.
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Duncan Phyfe Dining Table

Phyfe made all kinds of furniture from 1800 through the 1840s. Some of his more favored pieces include idiosyncratic tables that carry signature characteristics — Phyfe was not known for adding his maker’s mark to his furnishings, instead letting his distinctive style stand testament to its maker. Because of this, be wary of reproductions or furniture of similar design and age being passed off as Phyfe originals.
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While there are many manufacturers of quality furniture, Duncan Phyfe is by far one of the most respected names in the history of furniture making. In fact, Phyfe has become the expression used to identify the American-made furniture in antique or neoclassical style that was influenced by the forms and ornaments used in classical Greece and Rome.

Incorporated into the support for a single pedestal table with four legs ending in paw-type brass-capped feet, you might find a hand-carved lyre or harp connected to an elaborately carved fasces — a shaft that appears as a bundle of reeds or rods. Many furniture makers from the same period copied the use of the handcrafted lyre in their designs, making it hard for even art historians to identify Phyfe’s work without documentation to back it up. Art historians, antique dealers or appraisers often refer to Phyfe’s furniture as being of elegant design and having quality workmanship.
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His personal style, characterized by superior proportions, balance, symmetry, and restraint, became the New York local style. Many apprentices and journeymen exposed to this distinctive style by serving a stint in the Phyfe shop or by copying the master cabinetmaker’s designs helped to create and sustain this local school of cabinetmaking. Demand for Phyfe’s work reached its peak between 1805 and 1820, although he remained a dominant figure in the trade until 1847, when he retired at the age of seventy-seven. Within the short span of a single generation, however, the work of the master was all but forgotten until the revival in the 1920s, when different furniture companies replicated his designs for several decades.
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Five-foot (with leaf), two pedestal, mahogany Duncan Phyfe style dining table with four lyre back chairs in rough condition was purchased at Scott Antique Market for $30. The pedestals each have three feet with brass hardware. Lyre back chairs are upholstered in red and cream colored fabric. 8
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Five-foot (with leaf), two pedestal, mahogany Duncan Phyfe style dining table with four lyre back chairs in rough condition was purchased at Scott Antique Market for $30. The pedestals each have three feet with brass hardware. Lyre back chairs are upholstered in red and cream colored fabric.
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For instance, in 2006, a carved mahogany dining table by Duncan Phyfe dating to 1815 measuring 30 inches tall sold for $132,000. That’s actually what someone paid for it. That’s the value you need to know when assessing value.
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The tabletops can also be supported by columns shaped like lyres, which was a favorite motif of Duncan Phyfe. Sometimes, the lyres had real strings that were made of brass. Another motif was the spread eagle that also supported the table top, along with acorn drops at the corners of the table aprons.
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We found this vintage Duncan Phyfe style drop leaf table in an old abandoned storage unit. It was orange, scratched, dented and dinged up. It really needed some…
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Based in New York, Scottish-born cabinet and furniture maker Duncan Phyfe created new interpretations of European-styled furniture and made them his own. He gained renown as an American furniture maker in the beginning of the 19th century; if you’re lucky enough to find an original, expect to pay handsomely for it.
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According to Robert Adkins of Georgia, unless you inherit a piece of Duncan Phyfe furniture, very rarely will you find an original piece, and
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Adkins has a broad assortment of furniture and often purchases it from England or other dealers to resell. If you are searching for furniture in the style of Duncan Phyfe, Adkins usually has four to ten pieces at the market each month. Prices will vary with each piece; from $100 upwards to thousands of dollars.
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Unlike Thonet furniture which is known for its curved style and forms, Duncan Phyfe style pieces of furniture are recognizable for their straight lines. Most pieces were made out of hard woods such as walnut and mahogany. When it comes to refinishing antique furniture, these tips will help you retain a piece’s value.
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Phyfe made a variety of different styled tables including long, double or more pedestal-based banquet tables, dining tables, as well as many other styles. The tables were usually very heavy but refined and attractive. Earlier pieces were less ornately designed while later pieces were more detailed with intricate carvings. The feet of the tables were most likely carved claws or paws with brass decoration of some sort and the legs were curved into a vase shape beautifully carved with foliage. The larger tables usually had two or more pedestals with three legs and feet.