Original Duncan Phyfe Furniture at Millford

Throughout Millford’s interior is an exceptional collection of Duncan Phyfe & Son furniture — Phyfe’s final design phase with its more chaste and less decorated architectural forms. Many of the pieces in this collection are documented in the original Bill of Lading, dated June 2nd, 1841.

On June 2, 1841, Duncan Phyfe sent a bill of lading to John Laurence Manning, itemizing 47 boxes of Phyfe & Son furniture ordered for Millford. This document is an evocative resource, enriching our understanding of many of the original pieces of furniture found in Millford. This document reveals the kinds of furniture in the house and the type of wood from which these pieces were made, providing a glimpse into the material world of the Mannings. This letter was acquired from Katherine Williams Patterson, great-great-granddaughter of Gov. John Laurence Manning and Sally Bland Clarke.

The items highlighted in green remain at Millford today. Items highlighted in gray have been identified in other collections. (Note: do, below, is synonymous for “ditto.”)

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Pictured on this page are ten objects with their box number, which can be matched to the 1841 Bill of Lading. Recently cleaned, conserved and covered in period-like silk fabric, the suite of original furniture throughout the house provides an authentic look at what must have been the peak of affluence in the Old South before the Civil War intruded.

 

No. 1, 2, 3 “Couch & Pills” Three of the original set of four walnut couches reside at Millford today. Also known as Recamiers, they are made of economical and durable walnut, intended for the well-trafficked Entrance Hall.

No. 1, 2, 3 “Couch & Pills”
Three of the original set of four walnut couches
reside at Millford today. Also known as Recamiers,
they are made of economical and durable walnut, intended for the well-trafficked Entrance Hall.

No. 5, 6 “Sideboard Table” These two walnut sideboards intended for use in the Entrance Hall exemplify the Grecian Plain style of Phyfe’s final design phase with its more chaste and less decorated architectural forms.

No. 5, 6 “Sideboard Table”
These two walnut sideboards, intended for use in the Entrance Hall, exemplify the Grecian Plain style of Phyfe’s final design phase with its more chaste and less decorated architectural forms.

No. 6 “Cellaret” This mahogany cellaret, which held bottles of wine and spirits, was placed under sideboard tables and wheeled out during parties.

No. 6 “Cellaret”
This mahogany cellaret, which held bottles of wine
and spirits, was placed under sideboard tables and wheeled out during parties.

No. 9 “Mahog arm chair” The set of four mahogany armchairs (left) are painted to imitate rosewood and match the parlor furniture.

No. 9 “Mahog arm chair”
The set of four mahogany armchairs are painted to imitate rosewood and match the parlor furniture.

No. 9, 10, 11, 13 “Arm chair” Twelve of the original fourteen mahogany arm chairs, made for dining, surround Millford's dining table today.

No. 9, 10, 11, 13 “Arm chair”
Twelve of the original fourteen mahogany arm chairs, made for dining, surround Millford’s dining table today.

No. 16, 17, 46 “scroll Bason stands” This rosewood basin stand (1 of 2) probably commissioned for the Manning’s master bedroom, where personal supplies, like water basins, soap and toothbrushes were placed.

No. 16, 17, 46 “scroll Bason stands”
This rosewood basin stand (1 of 2) probably
commissioned for the Manning’s master bedroom was
where personal supplies, like water basins, soap
and toothbrushes were placed.

No. 21, 25, 28 “Dining Table” This mahogany elliptical shaped dining table is supported by two pillars, four paw-footed feet and extends to accommodate six leaves.

No. 21, 25, 28 “Dining Table”
This mahogany, elliptical-shaped dining table is
supported by two pillars, four paw-footed feet and
extends to accommodate six leaves.

No. 30, 47 “night stand” This rosewood nightstand served the practical purpose of storing the chamber pot.

No. 30, 47 “night stand”
This rosewood nightstand served the practical purpose of storing the chamber pot.

No. 36, 37, 38 & 39, 40 “French Bedstead” Two of the three mahogany French bedsteads reside at Millford today. This popular form, also known as a sleigh bed, was placed parallel to the wall with bed curtains above.

No. 36, 37, 38 & 39, 40 “French Bedstead”
Two of the three mahogany French bedsteads
reside at Millford today. This popular form, also
known as a sleigh bed, was placed parallel to the
wall with bed curtains above.

No. 46, 47 “2 Round Stands” The pair of small mahogany circular tables have Manning’s name on the underside of the top of one.

No. 46, 47 “2 Round Stands”
The pair of small mahogany circular tables have Manning’s name on the underside of the top of one.