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Photo: Courtesy The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Bayou Bend Collection, Gift of Miss Ima Hogg
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Tea table


Object number

RIF903

Maker

Maker: attributed to Christopher Townsend, 1701-1787

Dimensions

66.358 x 84.773 x 51.435cm (26 1/8 x 33 3/8 x 20 1/4in.)

Date

1760–1780

Current location

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (brace beneath top)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"To May B Henne From Lucy A. Weeden and Elizabeth C. Barber, " inscribed on a paper label affixed to underside of top; illegible chalk, on underside of top

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Possibly originally owned by Daniel Weeden, Jamestown, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, John Weeden; by descent to his son, William Augustus Weeden (1793–1864); by descent to his son, George W. Weeden (1822–1893); by descent to his daughters, Lucy A. Weeden (1848–1937) and Elizabeth C. Weeden Barber (1852–1936); given to May B. Henne (1877–1958), Springfield, Massachusetts. Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Connecticut; sold to Israel Sack, Inc., New York, before 1958; sold to Miss Ima Hogg (1882–1975), Houston, Texas, 1958; given to Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1958

Associated names

Daniel Weeden
John Weeden
William Augustus Weeden
George W. Weeden
Lucy A. Weeden
Elizabeth C. Weeden Barber
May B. Henne
Nathan Liverant and Son
Israel Sack, Inc.
Ima Hogg

Construction

The single-board oblong top has an integral ?dished? edge with incurvate corners, and is attached to its frame by multiple later glue blocks and by a transverse chamfered batten with a single countersunk screw. The batten is set into grooves in the long rails. There are later vertical glue blocks in each corner of the frame. The rails are tenoned into the blocks atop the legs, without wood pins. Nailed with brads to the bottom of each rail is a sub-rail whose outer edge is quarter round and flush with the knee brackets (some are replacements) and the tops of the cabriole legs. Behind each knee brackets is a carved block, some of which are later. The legs have angular knees, slender ankles with deeply carved tendons, and finely carved claws with undercut talons grasping elongated ball feet. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, August 11, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Helen Comstock, American Furniture: Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Century Styles (New York: Viking Press, 1962), 204, fig. 392.
David B. Warren, "American Decorative Arts in Texas: The Bayou Bend Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston," Antiques 90, no. 6 (December 1966): 802, ill.
David B. Warren, Bayou Bend: American Furniture, Paintings, and Silver from the Bayou Bend Collection (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1975), 56, fig. 105.
Liza Moses and Michael Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's and John Goddard's Queen Anne and Chippendale Tables," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1141, fig. 30.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 154, fig. 3.76, 3.76a.
David B. Warren et al., American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1998), 64–65, no. F111, ill.
Erik Gronning and Amy Coes, "The Early Work of John Townsend in the Christopher Townsend Shop Tradition," American Furniture (2013): 30–31, fig. 69–70.