The Fuller Building, 41 East 57th Street, 9th Floor New York City, NY 10022 United States 212.535.8810
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Fan-Carved Mantel in the Federal Taste

Origin United States, New York
Period 19th Century
Materials Pine
W. 90.375 in; H. 66.25 in; D. 13.25 in;
W. 229.55 cm; H. 168.28 cm; D. 33.66 cm;
Condition Excellent.
Creation Date About 1812
Description Within the genre of carved rather than plasterwork mantels of the Federal Period, no example that has come to light is more perfectly designed or more carefully wrought than the present one, which is an amazing symphony of fans, urns, beads, and other Neo-Classical devices, all ultimately influenced by the plasterwork designs of the English architects Robert (1728–1792) and James (1732–1794) Adam.

Of a type that proliferated in the area bounded by the northern New Jersey counties of Bergen and Passaic, the Hudson Valley, and western Long Island, the mantel is representative of work that flourished in the first couple of decades of the 19th century. While most of the woodwork of this style that has survived is found in interiors, various examples of exterior doors and other trim have been noted, but most examples have disappeared as a result, variously, of natural deterioration and purposeful demolition in anticipation of development.

Although considerably larger in scale and more elaborate in ornament than a mantel that has been in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum since 1944, the present mantel is so close in style and conception to that example that it likely originated in the same house.

The mantel in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum was donated to that institution by Mrs. Benjamin G. Hitchings, who was married to a collateral descendant of the earlier Benjamin G. Hitchings in 1944, the year after the death of her husband. As the smaller of the two related mantels, measuring 69-1/8 x 75-1/2 inches, it was likely removed from the dining room of the house, while the present mantel, which measures a grander 66-1/4 inches high, and 90-3/8 inches wide, was probably removed from the parlor.
Styles / Movements Empire, Federal, Neoclassical
Incollect Reference Number 174314
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