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"Antique Porcelain Door Knobs are hard to find - especially in the old carnival black. Your knobs are top notch and I just love them against the brass plates. Great porcelain doorknobs."
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"I purchased a bronze door knocker and a solid brass kick plate from you last month. Both the door knocker and kickplate exceeded my expectations and made my front entry look great. I am planning on getting a new door knob set, too - I love the Oil Rubbed Bronze and Antique Copper finishes you offer!"
David V., San Mateo, CA

"Larger retailers wanted nearly twice as much for the glass doorknob sets. My glass doorknobs are for modern doors - and they fit perfectly. The ones I purchased from you were easy to install, high quality and looked great. It is nice to know that I can update and detail my home without taking out a new mortgage. Next I plan on updating with the antique brass door hinges and victorian hardware. I only wish you also sold furniture!"
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Jane G., Lakewood, OH

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Lisa B., El Segundo, CA

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Home > Duncan Phyfe Hardware

Duncan Phyfe Furniture and Hardware Blends Two Classic Styles

Most people have heard of Duncan Phyfe furniture, even if they have no idea who the furniture was named after. Leaving Scotland, Duncan Phyfe immigrated as a poor man to the infant United States in 1784 with his family. Settling in New York City in 1791, he started a cabinet making company which became highly successful. New York, Philadelphia and the South’s wealthy citizens adored his furniture which blended two classic styles – Regency and English Neoclassical. Duncan Phyfe furniture is said to adapt English neoclassical features from a variety of furniture designers that included Hepplewhite, Empire, Sheraton and the Adam brothers.

Drop Pull with Rosette (Antique Brass)
Drop Pull with Rosette (Oil Rubbed Bronze)
Drop Pull with Rosette (Brushed Nickel)
Duncan Phyfe in Brass
Duncan Phyfe in Antique
Duncan Phyfe in Oil Rubbed Bronze

The cabinet business was so successful that the manufacturing and warehousing operations employed at least a hundred people and turned Duncan Phyfe into a wealthy man. He is credited with establishing the first furniture factory in the U.S. His pieces were in demand until he retired in 1847 and continued to be popular until his death in 1854. In the early 1900s there was a revival of the Duncan Phyfe style, and it remains popular today.

Lyre Cup Pull (Polished Brass)
Lyre Cup Pull (Antique Brass)
Lyre Cup Pull (Oil Rubbed Bronze)
Duncan Phyfe in Brass
Duncan Phyfe in Antique
Duncan Phyfe in Chrome

Simple Style With Classical Motifs

The original Duncan Phyfe antiques are high quality pieces that graced many high-priced homes. He did not sign his furniture so antique lovers have difficulty identifying original pieces from antique reproductions. Phyfe used red mahogany imported from Santo Domingo and Cuba until about 1830 and then began to make furniture out of native North American woods like walnut, rosewood, satinwood and maple. Veneer panels were blended with hardwoods to create interesting effects. His furniture is described by museums as being balanced, symmetrical, well-proportioned and somewhat simplistic. However, the simplicity was part of the lure of the furniture.

Solid Brass Bail Pull (Polished Brass)
Solid Brass Bail Pull (Antique Brass)
French Curve Bail Pull (Polished Brass)
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Brass Bail Pull
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Brass Bail Pull
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Brass Bail Pull

There is a rich variety of Duncan Phyfe furniture pieces that are now antiques or are reproductions. There are window benches, drop leaf breakfast tables with a center pedestal, dining tables with double pedestals and matching chairs, sewing stands, round pedestal tables with drawers, drum tables, tilt-top tables, chairs, sofas, beds and cabinets. The style is characterized by reeded legs on many of the furniture pieces. Also, some legs end in brass claws.

Victorian Brass Pull (Polished Brass)
Victorian Brass Pull (Antique Brass)
Victorian Brass Pull (Rubbed Bronze)
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Victorian Brass Pull (Polished Brass)
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Victorian Brass Pull (Antique Brass)
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Victorian Brass Pull (Oil Rubbed Bronze)

One of the most interesting features of Duncan Phyfe furniture is the addition of ornamentation and neoclassic motifs. As would be expected of furniture that incorporates neoclassical styles, the motifs include the symbols associated with Greek and Roman architecture. There are rosettes, trumpets, acanthus leaves, palm leaf, wheat ears, drapery swags, and urn turned posts.

The most distinctive feature of Duncan Phyfe furniture is the lyre design. The furniture lyre is the u-shaped frame with wood “strings.” The lyre is usually found on the backs of chairs and on the arms of chairs where there is a scrolling effect.

The Right Style Hardware

Antique and furniture dealers always emphasize that Duncan Phyfe furniture is now considered a style of furniture because original furniture pieces identified as Duncan Phyfe are so rare. The cabinetmaker Duncan Phyfe did not sign his pieces leaving no trail for identifying original furniture.

Brass Cabinet Knob (Antique Nickel)
Brass Cabinet Knob (Antique Copper)
Brass Cabinet Knob (Weathered Brass)
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Antique Nickel Cabinet Knob
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Antique Copper Cabinet Knob
Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Weathered Brass Cabinet Knob

The typical hardware found on antique, revival and new furniture is brass or glass. To keep the furniture authentic, you will want to replace damaged or missing hardware with pieces true to the period. Typical hardware needing replacement includes:

  • Brass claws
  • Drop pulls with rosettes
  • Brass knobs and pulls
  • Escutcheons
  • Backplates
  • Glass knobs
  • Cabinet hinges
  • Brass toe caps

  • Oval Pull (Polished Brass)
    Oval Pull (Oil Rubbed Bronze)
    Oval Pull (Polished Chrome)
    Hepplewhite in Brass
    Hepplewhite in Antique
    Hepplewhite in Chrome

    Since Duncan Phyfe furniture is a style, you can use any type of hardware that you find most attractive. If it’s reproduction furniture purchased fairly recently, the hardware is easy to match.

    Duncan Phyfe furniture has a style that has endured for over 150 years. It’s a style that fits so many homes with simple grace and beauty. Whether your furniture is old or new, there’s hardware available that can add the finishing touches like those Duncan Phyfe himself so appreciated.

    Ornate Ring Pull (Polished Brass)
    Ornate Ring Pull (Antique Brass)
    Ornate Ring Pull (Polished Chrome)
    Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Polished Brass Ornate Pull
    Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Antique Brass Ornate Pull
    Duncan Phyfe Furniture Hardware - Polished Chrome Ornate Pull

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    Duncan Phyfe Hardware
    Duncan Phyfe Hardware - Inset