image of object
Photo: Courtesy Christie's, New York
Click the image to enlarge

Dining table

Object number



Maker, attributed to John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809


29 3/4 64 1/4 54 3/4 in. (75.57 163.2 139.07 cm)



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); maple (hinged rails); pine (stationary rails)






John S. Walton, Inc., New York, 1965; sold to E. Martin Wunsch (1924–2013), New York, 1968; consigned by his estate to Christie's, New York, January 23, 24, and 27, 2014, lot 121

Associated names

John S. Walton, Inc.
E. Martin Wunsch


The single-board oblong top has a square edge and is joined to its single-board, oblong, square-edged leaves by six pairs of brass hinges. The joints between top and leaves are quarter-round. Four pairs of hinges are just inward of the frame; the other pairs are located at the center of the frame. The hinges plates attached to the drop leaves contain four screws, the plates on the top, three. The top is secured to the frame by four screw pockets ? one each in the middle of each rail ? and by screws through two transverse battens set in grooves in the inner side rails. There are glue block shadows on the inner side rails and the underside of the top, as well as diagonal recesses in the top of the inner side rail, and empty screw holes in the underside of the top. The inner rails are joined to the stationary portions of the outer rails by rosehead nails. The swinging portions of the outer rails move by means of circular, carved-wood, five-knuckled hinges. The end of the inner rails at the swing leg of the outer rail meets the short rail in dovetail joints, having finely cut pins with half-pins above and below. The blocks at the tops of the swinging legs are rabbeted to fit over the dovetail joint, and the rail is tenoned and double-wood-pinned into the block. Applied with brads to the bottom of the short rails is a deep skirt molding with a quarter-round front, on top of which is a separate, smaller, skirt molding. Quarter-round knee brackets are applied with glue and brads to the skirt moldings. The cabriole legs have angular knees and deeply carved ankles. The claws of the feet have prominent knuckles and undercut talons grasping elongated ball feet. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, January 22, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 150, fig. 3.72.
"John S. Walton, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 88, no. 2 (August 1965): 134, ill.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, and Chinese Export Art, sale cat. (January 23–24, and 27, 2014), 112–114, lot 121.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 76.