Furniture from the Cadwalader mansion, often mistaken as English or Irish, which we can now demonstrate is due to the aesthetic synergy with the family’s prized collection of London silver, has been discovered in America, England, Ireland and Italy. The majority of the furniture passed by descent
through the Cadwalader family to Dr Charles (1836-1907), great -grandson of John Cadwalader.
In the July 16th edition of 1897, The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin made mention of the furnishings of Dr Charles house, the bedrooms reportedly furnished in “old mahogany”. In that year, Charles, to the dismay of polite Philadelphia society, married his twenty one year old Irish house maid Bridget Mary Ryan, daughter of a police constable from Tipperary.
Life in Philadelphia became uncomfortable so in 1904, Charles, his young wife and their newly born son packed up their home and moved to London. Much of the house contents were sent to auction with the firm of Davis and Harvey. The catalogue of the sale of the goods in Philadelphia in November 1904 states that they were "To be sold by order of Dr. Chas. E. Cadwalader, prior to his residence in Europe." It is known that some of their belongings, including furniture and silver, were taken to England with them. Unfortunately both Charles and his young son died in London in 1907.
Dr Charles Cadwalader.
New research by Ellen Leslie has given fresh insights into the movements of Charles and Bridget Cadwalader when they arrived in England. It is now known that they resided at 97 Prince of Wales Mansions, on the south side of Battersea Park, London. The tea table emerged at an auction in the South of England in 2014. The previous year the Cadwalader bed surfaced at the same auction.
All of the available evidence now demonstrates this to be the tea table detailed in the Thomas Affleck bill of 1770 to General John Cadwalader.
This profusely carved table from the workshop of Thomas Affleck was carved by either Nicholas Bernard, Martin Jugiez or James Reynolds, following the design of the Cadwalader fire screens with subtle differences in the execution of the carving.
The superb timber with wonderful figure retains much of its original surface.
The table was conceived as a unique piece to integrate with other Cadwalader furniture and silver, with the highest attention to detail and craftsmanship, as one would expect of a commission for such a prominent patron.