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Antique Furniture/Authentic Duncan Phyfe?



"I recently purchased this table from a thrift store. Upon inspecting it, I found it to have no marking of manufacturer anywhere on it, and I almost wondered if it was hand-carved. I looked more into it, and it has a lion head handle on the front drawer, lighter-weight wood (not heavy at all, but made with real wood), and is a dark brown with a slight red tint. The legs are smooth and elegant but have a little notch toward the foot. The only distinguishing mark can be found on the underside of the drawer. It says, "No. 473." in a blue ink. Even still, everything else has no mark or name/brand/etc. It looks as if it is old and possibly has had a couple extra nails put into it over time; I'm not sure. I will attach photos, and email the rest (if email address is available).

Upon looking up the lion head and style, I ran across the possibility of a true Duncan Phyfe furniture piece.

What do you think? Who do I contact to find out for sure?"

Hi Shaila,

Thanks for your question regarding your small lamp table, made in the very
loosely associated style of Duncan Phyfe.

As long as you did not pay more than $25. for the table, you are OK. Still
expensive though when using it for firewood.  

I often preach to buyers that when it comes to the purchase of furniture, one
should do some research, because to proceed with little knowledge, is grounds
for failure.

What you have is a table that was most likely made in the 1930's and most definitely
made to a price and not to a standard. To a trained eye,just one quick look at it's
anaemic presence, tells all. A true and authentic Duncan Phyfe table would have been
of more robust proportions and fine detail, to include brass lion paw caps to the
feet. Also, the three legs would have been dovetailed into the center shaft, which
I am quite sure this table is missing and a cost saving measure in the building process.

To fully understand the true art of fine furniture making is to fully realize this
particular tables shortcomings. While I can not fully understand what your motivation
was in buying this table, but if it was for a possible resale, you will not get rich
and if you are planning on actually keeping it, my advise would be to invest in some
good reference books on fine American furniture or at the very least, check out a
book or two at your local library and READ! I will be time well spent.

Best Wishes,

George E. Harrison III

As for a maker, your guess is as good as mine and the possible real reason that the
is not signed is because the maker was not proud enough to  admit they created
something of such poor quality.  

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George E. Harrison III


I am able to answer most questions pertaining to the authenticity,collectability and values of high-end reproduction furniture. As an example, quality furniture produced by leading manufacturers such as Baker, Kittinger, Kindel, Saybolt-Cleland furniture companies. I must have at least one photo for advice. PLEASE READ: No questions will be answered without a photo. View our website at for a sampling of our expertise.


For the past 40 years I have been dealing in the appraisal, buying and selling of fine, pre-owned antique and reproduction furniture. Over the years we have served leading museums, governmental institutions, Fortune 500 companies as well as private collectors. View our website at for a sampling of our expertise. Also, be sure to read our testimonial page.


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