Attributed to Duncan Phyfe (Scottish, 1770–1854)
New York City
Mahogany, ash, tulip poplar
32 1/4 x 21 3/4 x 18 3/8 in. (81.9 x 55.2 x 46.7 cm)
Gift of the family of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Varick Stout, in their memory, 1965 (65.188.2)
The delicate framing and lyre-shaped splat of this chair are considered hallmarks of the Phyfe style. The cabinetmaker included a drawing of a similar chair in an 1816 letter to prominent Philadelphian Charles Bancker. This particular example is thought to be part of a set of twenty-four produced by Phyfe's workshop. Early historians claimed that New Jersey governor William Livingston (17231790) purchased the chairs, but they date to a period well past his death. Two other known sets of lyre-back chairs from 181020 are also attributed to Phyfe.