Attributed to Gustave Herter (American, born Germany, 18301898; firm active New York City, 184864)
Walnut; 64 1/2 x 25 3/8 x 22 1/4 in. (163.8 x 64.5 x 56.5 cm)
Friends of The American Wing Fund, 1986 (1986.204)
This imposing armchair came to the Museum with a history of having come from "Belvoir," a large Gothic villa built in the 1850s in Yonkers, New York, for the tobacco merchant Christian H. Lilienthal. The design of the villa is attributed to architect Thomas S. Wall. The armchair, like much Gothic Revival furniture, owes more to the vocabulary of architecture than to traditional furniture making. A nineteenth-century photo album of the house that accompanied this chair to auction in 1986 revealed that its library was furnished with Gothic Revivalstyle bookcases and armchairs that are related to works designed by New York City cabinetmaker Gustave Herter. While this particular chair was not pictured in the photo album, its fine quality and its relationship to the other furniture shown in the house suggest that it may be Herter's work.