In late 18th century Philadelphia, Tufft was one of the city’s most prosperous cabinetmakers. While his shop was not as large or prolific as that of his contemporaries Benjamin Randolph and Thomas Affleck, his rank was likely that of their equal.
Elegance, grace, and delicate carving characterize Thomas Tufft’s furniture. He typically chose a restrained opposing “C” scroll on the knees and a variation of this design can be seen on most of the objects attributed to his shop.
Tufft holds the record for Philadelphia furniture, the Edwards-Harrison Family pier table, when it sold at Christie’s for $4,620,000 (January 1990), becoming the most expensive table in the world. The price was well above the presale estimate of at most $1.5 million.
The rococo rarity, carved by Thomas Tufft in 1775-76, is a pier table with a Chinese-style apron of pierced fretwork, tall legs, narrow ankles and finely detailed ball-and-claw feet.