P.O. Box 210, Planitarium Station New York City, NY 10024 United States 646.645.0404
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Diminutive Bronze-Mounted Empire Bureau

In the Style of Duncan Phyfe
Origin United States, New York
Period 19th Century
Materials Bronze-mounted mahogany
W. 36.25 in; H. 37.25 in; D. 21.5 in;
W. 92.08 cm; H. 94.62 cm; D. 54.61 cm;
Condition Good.
Creation Date 1820-1825
In the manner of Duncan Phyfe
New York, 1820-1825

The oblong wood top above a conforming case in the form of a "French bureau" with a projecting frieze with two drawers above three graduated, recessed drawers flanked by pillars with gilt-bronze capitals and bases above turned, lotus-carved, acorn-squash form feet. Secondary wood: Tulip Poplar.

D: 21½"

Condition: Excellent; Surviving in pristine condition, refinished with shellac in the manner of the period. Brasses cleaned and re-lacquered in the manner of the period.

This exact form, called a "commode" was published in 1810 by Pierre de la Mésangère in his influential Collection de meubles et objets de gôut (Paris, 1802-1833), plate 328. It is highly likely that the former was the inspiration for the present bureau.

If Phyfe ever made this form, which seems likely, the present example would be a strong contender. The compactness of the case, high quality of the rich figured mahogany, the use of gilt-bronze mounts, the fine dovetailing of the drawers and the chamfered glue blocks, all suggest the hand of a top maker.

Empire bureaus are anything but rare in American furniture, but fine, bronze-mounted examples, ironically, are like hen's teeth.

Styles / Movements Classical, Empire, Traditional
Dealer Reference Number C-98311
Incollect Reference Number 476329
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