image of object
Photo: Courtesy The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Va., 1956-275, 1
Click the image to enlarge

Dining table


Object number

RIF176

Maker

Maker Unknown
Maker: formerly attributed to Christopher Townsend, 1701-1787
Maker: formerly attributed to John Townsend, American, 1732–1809

Dimensions

Open: 77.79 x 173.99 x 174.63 cm (30 5/8 x 68 1/2 x 68 3/4 in.)

Date

1750–1770

Current location

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); maple (stationary and hinged rails and cross braces); chestnut (blocks); white pine (blocks)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

John S. Walton, New York; sold to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, 1956

Associated names

John S. Walton

Construction

The oblong, single-board top has bowed ends and a slightly rounded edge, and is joined to its half-round, single-board leaves with six pairs of metal hinges, each hinge leaf thrice-screwed. Four pairs are set at the outside corners and two pairs at the midpoints of the frame. The top is secured to its frame by multiple horizontal rectilinear glue blocks – four at each inner rail and one each (one is missing) at each short rail – and by three transverse battens fixed with rosehead nails to the underside of the top. The central transverse batten is accompanied by a rectilinear glue block and a shadow of another. There are two additional transverse battens dovetailed (one additionally fixed with rosehead nails) into the bottom of the inner rails. The inner, stationary rails and outer, hinged rails are joined by rosehead nails. The inner rails meet the flat-arch-skirted short rails in dovetail joints, having large, finely cut pins with half-pins above and below. The outer rails meet the rabbeted blocks atop the legs in mortise and tenon joints, each one showing two wood pins. The hinged rails move by means of carved wood, five-knuckled, square hinges. The straight, tapered legs have claws with prominent knuckles grasping flattened ball feet. Examined by P. E. Kane, September, 2003; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

"John S. Walton advertisement," Antiques 69, no. 6 (June 1956): 472.
Barry A. Greenlaw, New England Furniture at Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, 1974), 158–159, no. 137, ill.
Luke Beckerdite, "The Early Furniture of Christopher and Job Townsend," American Furniture (2000): 17, fig. 32.