Side chair

Attributed to Charles-Honoré Lannuier American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 726

This rare and beautiful version of the New York lyre-back chair, part of a large set once owned by the Baltimore merchant James Bosley, is firmly attributed to the French-born and -trained cabinetmaker Lannuier, who worked in New York City from 1803 until 1819. Compared with examples often attributed to the great Scottish master craftsman Duncan Phyfe, which survive in far greater number, Lannuier's lyre-back chair is more richly ornamented in gilded brass and has a hard-edged rectilinear quality closer to French Empire precedents. But it is not a slavish copy of a French design. The chair is a fresh and innovative variation on a theme that melds Lannuier's highly refined sensibilities with the New York vernacular.

Throughout his relatively short but brilliant career in the city, Lannuier cast himself as the French alternative to the illustrious Phyfe, who worked more in the English Regency style. This chair was acquired to serve as both a complement and a counterpoint to the Museum's preeminent collection of New York furniture made under Phyfe's influence.

Side chair, Attributed to Charles-Honoré Lannuier (France 1779–1819 New York), Mahogany, mahogany veneer, gilded gesso, brass with maple, American

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