Sample Railing section for P. W. French & Company, New York

Samuel Yellin American, born Russian Empire [now Ukraine]

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 701

This prototype of a railing for a stair and landing represents one of the most unusual and imaginative of the Yellin projects. Part of a larger commission for the showrooms of the prestigious art and antiques dealers P. W. French & Company, the elaborate railing would have garnered much attention. The figures, modeled in the round, are thought to have been based on thirteenth- to sixteenth-century English wood carvings. Yellin had found a collection of more than five hundred such carvings in London and, recognizing its value as an inspiration to craftsmen, secured it for the Pennsylvania Museum, now the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The only known related project is a railing made for Richard B. Mellon of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Records show that Mellon, a client of French & Company, commissioned the railing through the firm, likely after admiring the one in their showrooms.

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