We are delighted to announce that Classical American Homes has recently acquired a rare rosewood and marble sofa table, one of two that originally stood in Millford’s magnificent double parlor. Attributed to Duncan Phyfe & Son, the New York cabinetmaking firm that supplied virtually all of the furniture for this stately Greek Revival mansion, the table passed by descent from John Laurence Manning and his second wife Sally Clarke Manning to its last owner before it was acquired by Classical American Homes. The matching table is at Mulberry Plantation in Camden, SC, brought there it seems by John Laurence Manning either in his later years when he went to live there with his daughter Ellen Clarke Manning and her husband, David Rogerson Williams, or after his demise.
Rectangular, marble-topped, sofa tables of this type either documented or attributed to the Phyfe shop, with the exception of these two examples, are virtually unknown. By the mid- to late 1840s, however, as discussed in Duncan Phyfe Master Cabinetmaker in New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011), tables if this type began to supplant the more common classical style alternative, the circular, marble-topped center table.
The catalog of the auction sale of the contents of the furniture warehouse of D. Phyfe & Son in 1847, at the time the firm finally closed, includes an entry for one “rich rosewood sofa Table, scroll standard elegantly carved, white marble top,” a form remarkably similar in its description to the one just acquired by CAHPT. After careful and sensitive conservation of its surviving, original, grain-painted finish, the sofa table will return to Millford where it once again will serve as the centerpiece of one of its noble parlors.