I have blogged about several of the important pieces in the First White House of the Confederacy, but do not think I have mentioned the exceptionally rare Mahogany Box type sofa we have in our back hall.
Our appraiser Edward Pattillo says this about the sofa: “This is without doubt the finest and largest sofa of this type to be recorded. It is richly veneered in the late-classical style of about 1835-45. The deep seat is upholstered in tufted claret velvet, and there are deep arms which terminate at front in massive hexagonal columns. The frame of the sofa is of ogee form, veneered with fine flame pattern veneers, ornamented with applied mahogany roundels.”
Mr. Pattillo says even though the history of our sofa is unrecorded, there has been a persistent legend that it was part of the original furnishings of the 1846 Capitol of Alabama and was removed to the White House in the 20th century. If so, Mr. Pattillo says it may have been ordered for that building or it could have been made in the 1830’s for the Capitol in Tuscaloosa and brought to Montgomery in 1846 when the Capitol was moved here.
In The Magazine Antiques, May 2007 is a picture of a sofa that looks very much like ours. The sofa in the magazine was by Edwards and Baldwin and was part of a shipment made to the Louisiana plantation of Lewis Stirling. Edward and Baldwin were well known cabinetmakers in New York City from 1833 to 1857.