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A Superlative Classical/Federal Brass Mounted & Carved Mahogany/Satinwood Triple Elliptical Trick Leg Card Table, New York, c.1810-20, attributed to Duncan Phyfe


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This table is the most developed and elaborate of this school of  “trick leg tables”.  The term “trick leg” is used because the rear legs cant backwards to create a symmetrical tripod table.  Note that this model has a satinwood apron with an inlaid central panel.  Also note, that the skirt is edged with a  brass inlay, similar to fine French furniture and reminiscent of the French cabinetmaker Lannuier and his cabinet shop in New York.  (For an example, see sw01315 in our collection, shown in the images below.)  

There are many variations of this form, and it runs all the way to an almost minimalist simplicity of form.  One minimalist example is a classical mahogany triple elliptic "trick leg" table, Duncan Phyfe and/or circle, New York, c.1810”  (item sw00770 in our collection).

Another table of this form that is very closely related, except for the lack of a triple elliptical top, is illustrated in the attached.   See  The Fine Points of Furniture: Early American, Albert Sack, p. 293; scan below.   Sack considers that example to be a superior/masterpiece category item.  We believe ours is a cut above that, with its more complicated elliptical top. 

Height: 28 3/4 in.  Width: 36 in.  Depth: 17 3/4 in.
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