Daniel Pabst American, born Germany

Not on view

These chairs are attributed to Daniel Pabst, an émigré craftsman who came from Germany to the United States in 1849, coincident with a great influx of immigrants fleeing political strife and economic hardship in Europe. He established a successful cabinetmaking and woodwork business in Philadelphia, maintaining a workshop in Philadelphia until his retirement in 1896. Pabst is best known for his work in the Modern Gothic style. His firm produced distinct bespoke work for an elite clientele in Philadelphia and New York’s most prominent families. These chairs exemplify Pabst’s work in the Modern Gothic style of the 1870s, which drew upon British reform theory and the designs of Bruce J. Talbert, Christopher Dresser, and Charles Locke Eastlake, especially in their incorporation of architectural shapes, low-relief carving of stylized foliate motifs, lion masks, and lion’s paw feet.

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