image of object
From: Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend Newport Cabinetmaker (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 84, no. 3
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Card table

Object number



Maker John Townsend, American, 1732–1809


Closed: 27 1/2 x 34 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (69.85 x 87.63 x 44.45 cm)



Current location



Made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); maple (hinged and stationary rails); yellow poplar (all other secondary wood)


"John" and "M," in graphite, on rear of hinged rail


"Haldem [?]," in chalk, on underside of top




Jerathmael Bowers (died 1799), Somerset, Massachusetts; by descent to his wife Mary Sherburne Bowers (1735–1799), Somerset, Massachusetts; by descent to their daughter Mrs. John Brayton (née Sarah Bowers, 1763–1843) Somerset; by descent to her son Israel Brayton (1792–1866), Somerset; by descent to his daughter Sarah Submit Brayton (1834–1915), Somerset and Fall River, Massachusetts; by descent to her niece Sarah Chaloner Brayton (ca. 1875–1952), Fall River; by descent to her nephew Hugh Morton (born 1906), Fall River; sold to Harry Arons, Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1966; sold to Joseph K. Ott, Providence, Rhode Island, 1966; by descent to his wife Anne Ott, Providence; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 20, 2012, lot 145

Associated names

Jerathmael Bowers
Mary Sherburne Bowers
John Brayton
Sarah Bowers
Israel Brayton
Sarah Submit Brayton
Sarah Chaloner Brayton
Hugh Morton
Harry Arons
Joseph K. Ott
Anne Northrop Ott


Two leaf-edge tenons on the rear of the upper leaf fit into corresponding slots on the rear of the lower leaf when the table is open. Both rear legs swing; there are five fingers on each of the knuckle-type hinges.


Some Rhode Island card tables on cabriole legs with claw-and-ball front feet and pad rear feet have blocked corners, as well as blocking at the center of the front skirt. See the related examples below.

See also


Joseph K. Ott, "John Townsend: A Chair and Two Tables," Antiques 94, no. 3 (September 1968): 390, fig. 2–2a.
Joseph K. Ott, "Some Rhode Island Furniture," Antiques 107, no. 5 (May 1975): 946, pl. 3.
Liza Moses and Michael Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's and John Goddard's Queen Anne and Chippendale Tables," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1134, fig. 12.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 153, fig. 3.75–3.75a.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 84, no. 3, ill.
Lori Zabar, "Picturing John Townsend's Clients," Antiques and Fine Art 6, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 142, fig. 2.
Brock Jobe, Gary R. Sullivan, and Jack O'Brien, Harbor and Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710–1850 (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 2009), 124 n. 9.
Christie's, New York, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph K. Ott, sale cat. (January 20, 2012), 42–47, lot 145, ill.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 58n19.