Originally a back porch when the house was built between 1832 and 1835 by William Sayre, this area was enclosed when the rear serving pantries were added in 1857. When the Davises lived here, it was used as a reception hall and waiting area when the President received callers in his study.
Today the serving pantry area is office space and our gift shop. The rear hall contains some most impressive furniture, a magnificent mahogany classical sideboard being the focal point. It is attributed to either Charles -Honore Lannuier or Duncan Phyfe, New York City, 1815-20. The one documented sideboard by Lannuier is a very closely-related example to this one and is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The great cabinetmaker Duncan Phyfe also made several mahogany sideboard very similar to ours as well.
This one use to be in the dining room but was recently moved to the hall so that our visitors could get a better view of it. The sideboard rests on four winged paw feet at front, below four composite columns. The feet have beautifully-carved eagles heads with well-detailed wings, similar to the feathered carving on the finest sofas of the period.
More important pieces to discuss tomorrow. Come to see us or visit our website for more info on the furnishings in the First White House, Montgomery Alabama!!! Remember the 150 anniversary of "Tha Wah" is right around the corner.