Pier Table

Attributed to Workshop of Duncan Phyfe American, born Scotland
or attributed to Duncan Phyfe & Sons American
or attributed to D. Phyfe & Son American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 738

Designated for the pier wall between two windows, a pier table was considered an integral part of an elegant parlor. The mirror below the tabletop reflected light into the room, amplifying the soft glow of candle and fuel-based light sources. Two similar Phyfe pier tables are known: one, for which there is an 1834 bill of sale, is in the White House; the other, bearing the D. Phyfe & Sons label (1837–1840), was made for Phyfe's daughter Eliza Phyfe Vail (1801–1890). However, neither of those examples have scroll supports placed at a 45 degree angle to the table's top as seen here. The other two documented tables have scroll supports and bases that face straight out. This table carefully follows the design illustrated in Plate 631 of volume three of Pierre de La Mésangère's Collection de Meubles et Objets de Goût.

Pier Table, Attributed to Workshop of Duncan Phyfe (American (born Scotland), near Lock Fannich, Ross-Shire, Scotland 1768/1770–1854 New York), Mahogany, marble, glass, American

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