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Duncan Phyfe (1768-1854)
Though he was born near Loch Fannich, Ross and Cromarty, Duncan Phyfe achieved fame in New York City, where his furniture designs had a lasting influence in the United States and where he achieved his reputation as perhaps the greatest of all American cabinetmakers. After emigrating in his teens and serving his apprenticeship at Albany, he moved to New York City in 1792. His skills led to such a demand for his products that he eventually employed over 100 carvers and cabinetmakers. It was no longer necessary for the colonists to send to England for quality furniture.

After the Revolution, Phyfe's workshops were the equal of any in the world. By 1825, taste dictated that he change his production from the Sheraton, Regency and French Directoire styles to what is known as the Empire style. Strongly influenced by the great work of fellow-Scot Robert Adam, Phyfe satisfied the tastes of wealthy New Yorkers in a rapidly growing metropolis, especially the particular needs of multi-millionaire and highly influential John Jacob Astor. Phyfe himself became extremely wealthy.

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