Collectors and avid supporters of the arts, homeowners Tim and Millena Coffey graciously open the doors of their historic home to host events from large fundraisers for the James A. Michener Art Museum to intimate luncheons for the Friends of the Delaware Canal.
Nestled in the breathtaking hills of the sleepy river town of Lumberville, overlooking Coppernose Creek, sits the former home of Charles Child, renowned Bucks County artist and the developer of the Cultural Exchange Program for the U.S. State Department. It was in this house that Charles’ twin brother Paul married Julia in 1946 and where she tested many of the recipes for her book, The Art of French Cooking, in the kitchen she designed here at Coppernose.
The dining room in which this tablescape appeared was frescoed by Charles Child in the 1940s to depict the flora and fauna of Coppernose. Event designer Rusty Thomas masterfully selected linens, fine china and silver pieces from Millena’s closet for this intimate luncheon, which served as an extension of the fresco on the walls and maintained the continuity of the house.
This elegant French-style table setting was placed upon an antique linen and anchored by pieces from Millena’s favorite collection: 100-year-old Royal Copenhagen Blue Fluted Full Lace service. This service was originally released as a dessert plate in 1775 and the collection expanded into full service in 1888. Royal Copenhagen is known for its lids adorned with hand-painted snail shells and hand-cut lacework representative of mussels. The Royal Copenhagen service was flanked by 1830s antique King’s pattern silver from the era of George IV. This flatware is from the London Silver Vaults, which houses the world’s largest collection of fine antique silver. Guests sat upon chairs covered with blue-and-white checkered antique seat covers finished with grosgrain ribbon and sipped their wine from Waterford’s Alana patterned crystal (which is no longer in production) and water from William Yeoward’s Georgian cobalt goblets. Between courses, guests could rinse their fingers in a Victorian-era (1840s) rinser and blot their lips with a 1920 French monogrammed napkin.
Millena fancies soft colors, so Rusty skillfully arranged a centerpiece containing pink and white Dutch ranunculus and lavender Dutch freesia from the markets in Amsterdam, sweetheart roses, ginestra and eucalyptus from Southern California in an 1800s serving piece. The colors of the centerpiece beautifully brought in the handmade Meissen porcelain cache pot and hollyhock on the antique stove.