Is This Really a Galusha?

by John Werry on June 4, 2008

galusha sofa Is This Really a Galusha?

My knowledge of Elijah Galusha furniture is not where I’d like it to be but I don’t think there is much out there to help the Galusha researcher to remedy that situation. The above sofa is being sold by Jenack Auctions and they are attributing it to Elijah Galusha. Not being familiar with his full repertoire, I haven’t seen something this “chunky” having been done by Galusha. See this page at Flomaton’s to get a gist of where I’m coming from. From what I’ve seen, Galusha’s parlor furniture is more refined and reserved than the above sofa construction. The C-scrolls on this sofa scream Belter to me but the lack of lamination beats back my inclination to go there. See the third picture to observe the side profile and see how thick this sofa construction is.

Let me know your thoughts out there. The sofa will be sold June 8th, starting at $1,250 and expected range of $2,500 to $4,000.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

zeke June 4, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Hey John,

It doesn’t look like any Galusha I have ever seen, but I have to wonder why they attribute it to him? Sometimes, I think, in the fever to drive up prices in an auction people will attribute anything to anyone, “attribute” is such a safe word to use. We only know a handful of names of Victorian furniture manufacturers and the trend has always been to attribute a piece of furniture to one of the “Big names” we are aware of to add to its attraction.

How many manufactures were there though? I think very many, and a lot of small shops that made furniture in the prevailing style that we’ll never know the names of. Just like today, something that is innovative and popular is copied, more often than not with less superior workmanship. I immediately thought Belter when i saw this, Roux as well perhaps. Could it be an example of early unlaminated Belter work?

I really think this is some furniture maker that produced this piece in the manner of what was currently popular when it was made. It’s actually very nice but a tad clumsy in design to my eyes.

At any rate, this is the wonderful thing about this website, we question everything in order to further our knowledge. It sure is a funky sofa whomever made it.

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Gordon Sisson June 4, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Stacy Pomeroy Draper, Curator
Rensselaer County Historical Society
57 Second Street
Troy, NY 12180
(518-272-7232 x 14)
Web: http://www.rchsonline.org
email: spdraper@rchsonline.org

The above is the contact info for the curator of the Rensselaer Historical Society who would be my best guess regarding a person qualified to offer an opinion on this sofa being by Galusha. She is a friendly person who has an extensive library of Galusha attributed furniture.

Gordie

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woodwright June 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm

My wife was passing by when I was looking at this sofa onscreen and said “that’s the sofa from the TV show The Big Valley”- it was a western w/ Lee Majors & Linda Evans w/ some great Victorian furniture. Any “Big Valley” fans out there remember it?
I have seen this sofa before at an auction or one like it (I don’t remember the upholstery color), but I can’t remember where. I’ll have to dig through some old catalogs. I rather like the asymetry of it, it’s very unusual and unique. It looks to me like it could be a funky version from Belter – it does have a cornicopia (one of his patterns). woodwright

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drew49 June 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Hi!
I have to say that I see the Belter design ideas in this piece as woodwright does. I like this sofa-it is amazingly over the top.

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RareVictorian June 11, 2008 at 8:59 am

Sold $3,300 plus buyers premium

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