Leveraging Newfound Galusha Reference Images

by John Werry on March 18, 2010

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For those of you interested in the Rococo Revival furniture of Elijah Galusha, you may remember from this post that I had isolated a pattern that I had seen on several pieces at the Renssalaer Historical Society in Troy, NY – the appearance of “mirror-image” foliage in the edge gadrooning appeared on a sideboard and also in one of the Galusha parlor tables.  So far, I haven’t seen other instances of cabinetmakers using that combination of gadrooning pattern and swirled foliage.

I was perusing Joan Bogart’s inventory and a couple of her pieces popped out to me as resembling Galusha work.  Take the two table images above; the first being a table in Joan’s inventory and the second is a documented Galusha.  Both have the signature pattern on the edge.  The bottom table is slightly more crisply carved but not enough to dissuade me from an investigation as it may be due to a difference in clarity in the photography.

I’m wary to jump to conclusions and don’t want to fall into the trap that everything is a nail when you have a hammer.  Because I have a few Galusha patterns identified, I don’t want to assume everything is a Galusha if I see them appear elsewhere.  However, I can draw similarities from other elements on Joan’s table and other confirmed furniture – specifically in the areas of acanthus and volute carving and some of the leaves.  Maybe some day I’ll make it to Joan’s shop and ask her permission to take some more detailed photos to make those comparisons a little more scientifically.

For now, I’m comfortable enough with what I see to attribute her table to Elijah Galusha.

As for other items in her inventory, I believe that I can make a strong case that this parlor set is also Galusha.  Topic for a future post…

Meanwhile, here’s a full shot of the reference table residing in Troy, NY:

Galusha Table 1 Leveraging Newfound Galusha Reference Images

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Federico Santi March 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm

The Munson Williams Proctor Institute produced a few years ago:
“Artistry in Rosewood- Furniture by Elijah Galusha” 6 pages with images (in color) with a pretty good history of Galusha. We have had a couple of pieces in our gallery over the years; the nicest one a lady’s writing desk: rosewood / very Rococo. This that we picked up the booklet at the Historical Society in Troy. Don’t know if a previous post mentioned this booklet. Would think that it is still available and it is a valuable reference book. It was produced for an exhibition May through August of 1995.

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1881victorian March 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Still looks to me a lot like my parlor set.

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Case Wilson March 19, 2010 at 10:15 am

I have a seven piece rosewood parlour set that came from Troy, New York around 50 years ago. The elderly lady who owned it attributed it to Elijah Galusha. Instead of the usual floral carvings, each chair crest and the 3 sofa crests are carvings of fruit and nuts. I would be happy to send pictures and perhaps we can see if she was correct.

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