Classical Furniture

The Classical Style (1815-1840) of American furniture was a simpler version of France’s Empire Style, popular during Napoleon’s reign. It joined Classical motifs from Egypt and Greece with animal features such as carved feet and wings.  Classical furniture featured simple, massive, graceful curves; dark woods (especially mahogany) and veneers; and motifs such as palm leaves and lyres. This large furniture fit in well with the parlors and dining rooms of Southern Greek Revival mansions. It was also found in wealthy homes of other styles all across America.

  • Grecian Sofa
    1820-1830
    pine, birch, mahogany veneer
    Unknown maker
    Boston, Mass., active early 19th century
    Museum purchase made possible by the Endowment Fund in Honor of D. A. Turner 2010.126

    Inspired by furniture of ancient Greece, this sofa features carved foliage, lions paw feet, and scrolled arms.
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  • Window Bench
    1835-40
    mahogany and mahogany veneer; ash and white pine secondary woods
    attributed to Duncan Phyfe
    born near Loch Fannich, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland 1768
    died New York, N.Y. 1854
    Museum purchase made possible by Lovick Corn in honor of his wife Betty Corn on the occasion of their 60th Wedding Anniversary 2009.19

    Americans considered the work of Duncan Phyfe to be the ultimate in taste and sophistication. Click here for more information

  • Square Piano
    1831
    William Moore active Philadelphia, Pa. 1800-1840
    for Loud and Brothers, Philadelphia, Pa., in business 1822¬-1833
    mahogany and rosewood veneers, with embossed brass, pine, metal and ivory
    Museum purchase made possible by the Art and Acquisition Fund 96.2

    During the first half of the 19th century, the piano became the favored musical instrument among affluent American families.
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