The Shop and Warehouse of Duncan Phyfe, 168–172 Fulton Street, New York City

Former Attribution: Formerly attributed to John Rubens Smith (American, London 1775–1849 New York)

Date: ca. 1816

Medium: Watercolor, black ink, and gouache on white laid paper

Dimensions: 15 7/8 x 19 5/8 in. (40.3 x 49.8 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1922

Accession Number: 22.28.1


These three buildings housed the manufactory and wareroom of Duncan Phyfe's thriving cabinetmaking business. This was the point of origin for some of the most acclaimed furniture of the early nineteenth century, and seen in the center of the image are two elegantly dressed women appraising Phyfe's wares. To ensure steady control over the daily operation of the company, his home was located directly across the street at 169 Fulton, as was typical of many master craftsmen in this period. Furthermore, Phyfe witnessed the steadily rising value of real estate and actively invested his profits in the accumulation of other properties in the neighborhood.