Millford Plantation: (left) photograph of Millford's façade, taken sometime near the end or just after the Civil War, as identified by the individuals and their clothing seen on the front steps; Millford's façade today.
Friends of Millford Benefit
April 1st lunch and lecture by Peter Kenny
What a spectacular day we had for our first Friends of Millford benefit on April 1st. Over one-hundred guests arrived at Millford on a perfect spring day -- the weather gods were definitely with us that day -- blue skies, blooming azaleas and dogwood, a chance to wander around the gardens and see the house from all points of view. The interior of Millford was also open for viewing before a delicious luncheon, provided by Jimmy Stevenson and The Southern Way, was served on the oval-shaped Duncan Phyfe table in the dining room. The floor to ceiling windows in all four main rooms were raised high to allow circulation of both the guests in and out of the house and a gentle breeze. Tables were placed in the Entrance Hall, under the tall columned portico, and on the back porch with dangling wisteria. It was wonderful to see Millford full of friends and activity.
After lunch, Dick Jenrette again welcomed everyone to Millford, including the more than a dozen Hampton and Manning family descendants who were asked to stand up. He also introduced the newly formed Friends of Millford and its Co-Chairs, Lee Manigault of Charleston and Kirkman Finlay from Columbia.
The Friends of Millford are being organized as a group of supporters who share a deep appreciation for Millford and are interested in preseving its legacy for the future. Throughout the year, the Friends will be invited to participate in various social, education and cultural events at Millford and other Classical American Homes' properties. We want to invite you to become a Friend of Millford with a contribution of $1000. Please join! Your tax-deductible donation will directly to support Millford - including the maintenance of the house and its collection as well as the development of special events and public programs. As a National Historic Landmark and one of the finest examples of Greek revival residential architecture in America, Millford is an exceptional part of our heritage that draws visitors, scholars, collectors, and students from across the country. We hope you will join us in preserving and protecting this unique site.
Margize Howell, Executive Director, introduced Peter Kenny, The Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator and Administrator (see above left) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She expressed how special it was to have Peter here at Millford, especially after his terrific Phyfe lecture at Edgewater last fall. Before Peter started, Morrie Heckscher, Chairman of The American Wing at The Met, graciously thanked Dick for his friendship and generosity to the American Wing over the years.
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... Several of the guests commented on the rarity to see original Phyfe furniture in situ. They added that the Millford "experience" of the furniture's scale and chaste polished veneers in relation to Millford's sixteen-foot ceilings and the richly decorated interior architecture was extraordinary....
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(left) Peter Kenny and Mary Sue McDaniel; (center) Lee Manigault, co-chair Friends of Millford, William Banks and Peter Kenny; (right) clockwise from Cissy Shull, (back to us), Fred Rhodes, Stanley Hubbard, Marcia Bowers, Tate Bowers, Laura Rhodes, and Rush Shull.
(left) Manning descendents: Kathy Hill, Kate Patterson and son Andrew Patterson, Coy Hill with Peter Kenny; (center) Dick Jenrette, Margize Howell, Peter Kenny, Bill Thompson; (right) Spotswood Box and Claire Efird.
Documents, furniture, and objects belonging to John Manning find their way back to Millford
Between 1840 and 1844, the Mannings placed four separate orders with Duncan Phyfe & Son, totaling seventy-two individual pieces for Millford Plantation. Over fifty D. Phyfe & Son objects remain at Millford today. See below (and the downloadable document) that introduces many of the original Phyfe pieces, as well as additional objects owned by the Mannings.
June 2, 1841 bill of lading: Duncan Phyfe sent a bill of lading to John Laurence Manning, itemizing 47 boxes of Phyfe & Son furniture ordered for Millford. This document is an evocative resource, enriching our understanding of many of the original pieces of furniture found in Millford. With this document, we see both what kind of furniture was in the house, and in some cases, what type of wood that furniture was made of, giving us a revealing glimpse into the material world of the Mannings. This letter was acquired from Katherine Williams Patterson, great-great-great-great granddaughter of Gov. John Laurence Manning and Sally Bland Clarke.
September 11, 1841 letter: Just a few months after Phyfe sent the bill of lading detailing the contents of 47 boxes of furniture, he wrote to John Laurence Manning again to say that the company had shipped 39 boxes to Manning's agent in Charleston. Phyfe also offered practical advice, suggesting that since the boxes would be left in Charleston until spring, that the furniture should be unpacked and left in a dry room, avoiding damage from the humid local climate, "or the beauty will be marred and the furniture itself injured." This letter was generously given by Katherine Williams Patterson.
Water pitcher: This sterling coin silver water pitcher belonged to John Laurence Manning and his wife, Susan Hampton Manning. Decorated with floral motifs and engraved with the initial "M," the pitcher bears the mark of Wood and Hughes, a New York based silver company. According to family lore, the pitcher, along with the rest of the family silver, was buried in a creek bed during the Civil War, and was retrieved after the troops departed. It is on loan to Classical American Homes Preservation Trust from Manning descendents, William and Susan Manning. This is the second piece the Mannings have loaned to Millford; in 2001 they loaned a George P. A. Healy portrait of their ancestor Richard I. Manning, currently on view in Millford's entrance hall.
French bedstead: This mahogany bedstead is of one of many items that the Mannings ordered from Phyfe & Son when they furnished Millford. Also known as a sleigh bed, this form was popular in nineteenth-century American homes. These beds were usually placed parallel to the wall, and the bed curtains were suspended from a canopy hung from the ceiling. This bed, and another Phyfe bedstead, was generously given by Clark family members Lucy Clark Dougherty and Carolyn Clark Fulcher.
Like many of the Phyfe & Son pieces at Millford, the bedstead can be found on the June 2nd, 1841 bill of lading. The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns another Manning bed produced by Phyfe & Son; while similar in style to this bedstead, the Met's version is made of rosewood, not mahogany
Please click here to download the full list of Phyfe furnishings as well as art and objects related to the Mannings at Millford.
For more information on Millford and how to visit, please go to our website for more details.
For donors who contribute $1000 and over, please be our guest at this upcoming Spring Patrons Party.
When you RSVP online use promo code Spring2012 for 2 complimentary guest tickets to this event. Thank you for being a generous supporter.
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