Bronze Mounted Mahogany Pier Table


Attributed to Duncan Phyfe (1770-1854)

New York, 1815

The original oblong white marble top with reeded edge on a conforming case of figured mahogany with gilt-bronze appliqués over the columns and centered on the frieze, depicting a scene of Psyche showing her jewels to her sisters, the bottom edge of the frieze is rosewood with double strings of inlaid brass. The case supported by mahogany veneered columns with gilt-bronze capitals and bases in front and with pilasters flanking a mirror plate in back, all resting on a concave plinth, raised on four carved, gilded and verde-antique painted animal paw feet.  Construction notes: There is a medial stretcher bisecting the upper case, front to back and the pilasters are dovetailed into the case and base, top and bottom.

H: 36"  W: 42"  D: 17"

Condition: Excellent: Original gilding and paint on the feet was over painted and over-gilded at some later date, with slight loss to carving of the acanthus leaf tips. This decoration has been cleaned and consolidated with some areas of original gilding visible and in-painting to small areas of paint loss.

This pier table is typical of the upper range of Duncan Phyfe's production in this period, 1810-1820, often considered his best.  It boasts almost every embellishment that Phyfe had in the toolbox in this early Empire or "ornamented Grecian" style.  It relates to a pier table in plate 38 in Peter M. Kenny and Michael K. Brown's Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011), 217.

It is believed that it was originally owned by the Honorable Smith Thompson who served the State of New York as an Assembly Member (1801-1802) and was then appointed to the State Supreme Court (1802-1814), and then Chief Justice (1814-1818).  It is likely that he acquired this table during his tenure as Chief Justice.  He served the United States as Secretary of the Navy (1818-1823), and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1813-1848).  On the Court, Thompson was a staunch advocate of the rights of the Cherokee Nation in the State of Georgia.

Provenance: Hon. Smith Thompson (1768-1848)

                        Estate of O. Edward Freeman, Jr. (1924-1993), NYC and Bristol, Va.


Dealer Carswell Rush Berlin, Inc.
Date: c. 1820
Origin New York City
Artist/Maker In the manner of Duncan Phyfe
Measurements H: 36" W: 42" D: 17"
Inventory View Dealer's Inventory
Contact Carswell R. Berlin, 646-645-0404 or

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