Tapered Work Table (Opened), White House Collection
This tapered form work table is one of only four known nearly identical tables (a second is also present in the White House). Here it is shown with all its drawers and compartments open. Its form and complexity attribute the work to Duncan Phyfe of New York. This desk was made for a variety of tasks including: writing, sewing, or miniature painting. Phyfe was born in Scotland and emigrated to New York in 1784. He became one of the premiere cabinet makers in the United States during the first half of the 19th century, known for blending the previous English Neoclassical and Regency styles together in a distinctive way. Phyfe benefited from his location in New York City on Fulton Street, where he was able to ship his furniture out to the southern States and the rich cotton magnates there, as well as to international ports. The table was a gift of the Richard King Mellon Foundation to the White House in 1971.