Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Phyfe, Duncan 1768?-1854. Scottish-born American cabinetmaker. His shop was one of the first to use factory methods of furniture construction.

Etymologies

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Examples

  • A gorgeously handcrafted contemporary version of a Duncan Phyfe sofa stands back to back with the real thing and looks even better than the priceless antique.

    Symbols of Our Nation

  • Several pieces by Phyfe are displayed near similar works by his chief rival, the French émigré Charles-Honoré Lannuier 1779-1819, possibly the only New York maker who could equal Phyfe's finesse at carving and design.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • This emphasis on veneer over carving characterizes much of Phyfe's later output, and the inclusion of such veneered pieces as an imposing Grecian bedstead and monumental cheval mirror made in 1841 for an important South Carolina client also underscores Phyfe's great popularity in the antebellum South.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • This opulent and multifaceted oeuvre is the focus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition "Duncan Phyfe, Master Cabinetmaker."

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • By matching these with objects whose history is known, the exhibition and book strive to codify Phyfe's evolving design traits to help scholars distinguish between the many unsigned Phyfe works and those by his imitators.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • Increasing pomp and opulence distinguish Phyfe's work from 1815 to 1825, which features richly figured mahogany, kingwood, rosewood, white and colored marble, brass inlay, lavish gilding and finely cast mounts of ormolu gilt metal.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • Curated by Peter M. Kenny and Michael K. Brown, who are co-authors, with scholars Frances F. Bretter and Matthew A. Thurlow, of an exhibition catalog that is one of the handsomest in recent memory, the show is the first Phyfe retrospective in 90 years.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • In an age that lived precariously on credit, Phyfe always paid cash for his materials, laying in sufficient quantities of mahogany timber—known as "Phyfe logs"—to allow the sawed lumber to season far longer than was usual.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • Susan Donaldson is portrayed with her harp and one of a pair of Phyfe window seats.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

  • Nearly 100 works from private and public collections—including pieces still owned by Phyfe's descendants—document the craftsman's mastery of evolving styles from Federal to Grecian to pillar-and-scroll Classical.

    Furniture for a Young Nation

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