Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary


A stringed instrument which appears in Greek decoration and was adapted in the Renaissance period, and in various forms in the 17th through the 19th century in France, England, and Germany.

The lyre was previously used by Adam, Sheraton, and Hepplewhite in 18th-centuryEnglish furniture.

A popular motif in the Empire period, and a particular favorite of the 19th-century American designer Duncan Phyfe.

Lyre-back chair: A Duncan Phyfe early-19th-century American chair. The splat was an open-carved lyre design.

Examples from Buffalo:

Other examples:

Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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