Furniture from the workshop of Duncan Phyfe has certain characteristics not found on pieces made in other contemporary cabinet shops. Foremost among those characteristics is the select mahogany timber employed in the pieces made in his shop. In addition, there are many subtle and unique construction details which mark his work.
Illustrated here is an exceptionally fine Sheraton carved mahogany tip top candlestand, attributed to Duncan Phyfe, New York City, circa 1805-10. It measures 26 ¾" long, 19 ½" wide, and 28" high. This superlative example has a virtually unique four serpentine sided top of brilliantly figured mahogany. The shaft of the table, with its baluster above urn form, relates to various other documented examples, and the distinctive double beaded molding treatment of the sweeping sabre legs is documented only to Duncan Phyfe. Many of his tables had either carved paw feet or brass paw casters, as this example. Finally, this table has the finest select mahogany timber.
For further comparison and details illustrating the noted characteristics of this table and their association with the work of Phyfe, the reader is referred to Charles F. Montgomery, American Furniture - The Federal Period, plates 385-7, pp.392-3; Nancy McClelland, Duncan Phyfe and the English Regency 1795-1830; and Charles Over Cornelius, Furniture Masterpieces of Duncan Phyfe.