Research: Luce Center for American Art

Sofa
Accession #41.1181
Maker Unknown
TitleSofa
Dateca. 1830
MediumMahogany, veneer, marble, gilt bronze, modern upholstery
Dimensions36 x 80 x 31 in. (91.4 x 203.2 x 78.7 cm)
Credit LineMaria L. Emmons Fund
LocationAmerican Identities: Colony to Nation / Inventing American Landscape
DescriptionSofa, Empire style, mahogany veneer on pine, marble columns. Rectangular frame with back, seat and ends upholstered, curved mahogany skirt, marble column on each end with ormolu (gilt bronze) bands above and below resting on a carved and turned foot having acanthus leaf and reed decoration, upholstered in coral damask having a diamond pattern. Condition: Good, silk worn on back.

Curatorial Remarks:

Box sofas such as this one were very popular in the United States at the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century. This particular version with its marble columns is a rather luxurious example. Although the textile cover is modern the underupholstery is original. The rectilinear profiles on the back and sides are typical of the severe silhouettes of Neoclassical upholstery schemes. The elaborate bolsters and pillows were suggested by those found in period French and English pattern books. An illustration from Peter and Michael Angelo Nicholson's Practical Cabinetmaker, Upholsterer, and Complete Decorator was used as the model for these elements.