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Photo: Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 27.161
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Card table


Object number

RIF309

Maker

Maker John Townsend, American, 1732–1809

Dimensions

Closed: 69.22 x 86.04 x 42.86 cm (27 1/4 x 33 7/8 x 16 7/8 in.); Depth, open: 85.73 cm (33 3/4 in.); Width, skirt: 81.915 cm (32 1/4 in.); Depth, skirt: 41.275 cm (16 1/4 in.)

Date

probably 1786

Current location

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); maple (inner and outer rear rails and medial braces); chestnut (glue blocks, drawer bottom, and medial drawer runner); yellow poplar (drawer sides and back and drawer guides)

Marks

"MADE BY / JOHN TOWNSEND / NEWPORT," in brown ink, printed on paper label glued inside drawer bottom; "1786" [?], parts of the "N" and "P" of "Newport," and a double-line border are written in ink; the date has been worked over in brown ink to read "1766"

Inscriptions

"C J T," the initials of Caleb Jewett Tenney, painted on underside of top

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Christopher Champlin (1731–1805), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his brother, George Champlin (1738–1809), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to his niece, Mrs. Caleb Jewett Tenney (née Ruth Channing, died 1842), Newport, Rhode Island, then Wethersfield, Connecticut, and Northampton, Massachusetts; by descent to her daughter, Mrs. William Allen (née Elizabeth Tenney, born 1820), Northampton, Massachusetts; by descent to her daughter, Clara Channing Allen (born 1860), Northampton, Massachusetts; sold to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1927

Associated names

Christopher Champlin
George Champlin
Ruth Channing
Caleb Jewett Tenney
Elizabeth Tenney
Clara Channing Allen
Clara Channing Allen

Construction

The top has two leaf-edge tenons.The top is fastened to the frame at the front and rear rails with three screws and three glue blocks. The legs are double pinned to the frame and each joint has a glue block. Four rosehead nails fasten the stationary rail to the hinged rail. Six cross braces join the stationary rail to the front rail; three are dovetailed to the underside of the rails and three are dovetailed to the top of the rails. The knee brackets are tenoned into the legs and rails and wedged in place on the rails. Source: Morrison H. Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 2, Late Colonial Period: The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles (New York: Random House, 1985), 168, no. 100.

Related objects


Bibliography

Charles O. Cornelius, "John Townsend: An Eighteenth-Century Cabinet-Maker," Metropolitan Museum Studies 1 (1928): 77, 79–80, fig. 3, 6.
R. T. Haines Halsey and Charles O. Cornelius, A Handbook of the American Wing, 6th rev. ed. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1938), 131, fig. 64.
R. T. Haines Halsey, Charles O. Cornelius, and Joseph Downs, A Handbook of the American Wing, 7th rev. ed. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1942), 131, fig. 64.
Mabel M. Swan, "John Goddard's Sons," Antiques 57, no. 6 (June 1950): 448–449, ill.
Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury (New York: MacMillan Company, 1963), no. 1024, ill.
Michael Moses and Liza Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's Later Tables," Antiques 119, no. 5 (May 1981): 1155, fig. 6–6b.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 78–79, fig. 2.7, 2.7a–b, 3.25, 3.27, ill.
Brock Jobe and Myrna Kaye, New England Furniture: The Colonial Era (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984), 34, fig. I-40.
Morrison H. Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Late Colonial Period, The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles (New York: Random House, 1985), 167–168, 345, 366, no. 100, ill.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2005), 142–45, no. 32, 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), 209n3, 379n3.