Stencil Decorated Carved Mahogany Armoire

In the Manner of Holmes & Haines (1825-1830)


The projecting cornice above an arched entablature with Ionic column capitals and stenciled bordering, centering a gilt-stenciled spray of fruit and leaves, above a pair of paneled cabinet doors with stenciled bordering, opening to a bifurcated interior with stacked drawers with original brass pulls on the left side. The case flanked by stencil-decorated columns, is raised on massive carved animal paw feet with eagle brackets.


H: 94" W: case: 54½" (cornice: 65½" x 31¾") D: 30"


Condition: Excellent: Minor loses to carving around the feet and toes.


The Armoire form is French and does not appear in English design directories of the period. This, however, could never be mistaken for a French armoire; it is purely American. Gilt-stenciling may have begun in the Jefferson years when the embargo made English and French bronze furniture appliqués difficult to acquire in America, but American cabinetmakers made an art form of gilt-stenciling where it was particularly popular in New York and Philadelphia.


Related to a Joseph Meeks and Sons attributed pier table and secretary bookcase at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, there were a half dozen or more firms in New York whose known work relates to this armoire and who might have made it, including Deming & Bulkley (working 1820-1850), Holmes and Haines (working 1825-1830), Meeks & Sons (working 1798-1867), Kinnan & Mead (working 1823-1830), and Williams and Dawson (working 1824-1832). [1]


This is an exceptional example of this uniquely American expression, boasting classical stenciling and gilt decoration at its most exuberant.


[1] Pictured in 19th-Century America: Furniture and Other Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum (New York, 1970) figure 68 and 70 and Jonathan Fairbanks & Elizabeth Bidwell Bates, American Furniture 1620 to the Present (New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1981), 273. Also related to figure 193 in Celia Jackson Otto, American Furniture of the Nineteenth Century (New York, 1965).


Dealer Carswell Rush Berlin, Inc.
Date: c. 1830
Origin New York
Measurements H94: W: case: 54.5 (cornice: 65.5 x 32") D: 30"
Inventory View Dealer's Inventory
Contact Carswell R. Berlin, 646-645-0404 or

Stay up to date with our ADA newsletter.

[ Generation time: 0.033 s - 87% PHP, 13% DB ]   [ 15 queries used ]   [ GZIP compression enabled ]   [ Server Load: 3.35 ]