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Photo: Courtesy The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wis.,1948.11,1; photo by Gavin Ashworth
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Card table, one of a pair

Object number



Maker John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809


closed: 27 1/4 34 15 1/2 in. (69.215 86.36 39.37 cm)



Current location

The Chipstone Foundation


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


Mahogany and mahogany and holly veneers (primary); birch (hinged rails); maple (stationary rails and cross braces); chestnut (glue blocks)


"MADE BY / JOHN TOWNSEND, / NEWPORT.," printed, and "1794," written in ink, on a paper label glued to interior bottom of drawer


“T [or “J”?],” in graphite, on outside surface of proper-left section of hinged rail; “M,” in graphite, on outside surface of middle section of hinged rail; “To[?],” in graphite, on outside surface of proper-right section of hinged rail; illegible chalk [partially obscured] on exterior surface of stationary rail; loops, in graphite, on interior of stationary rail and underside of top


Colonel John Cooke (1744–1812), Middletown, Rhode Island; by descent to Rhoda Cooke; by descent to William Cooke Gray; by descent to George Wanton Gray; by descent to Thomas T. Gray; by descent to Phoebe McCorrie Gray Durfee; sold to Philip Flayderman, Boston; consigned by his estate to American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, Inc., New York, January 2–4, 1930, lot 471; sold to Israel Sack, Inc., Boston and New York; sold to Joseph H. Hirshhorn, New York; consigned to Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, December 10, 1948, lot 215; sold to Polly Mariner Stone (1898–1995) and Stanley Stone (1896–1987), Fox Point, Wisconsin; bequeathed by Stanley Stone to The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1987

Associated names

Colonel John Cooke
American Art Association
Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc.
Thomas T. Gray
Philip Flayderman
William Cooke Gray
George Wanton Gray
Rhoda Cooke
Phoebe McCorrie Gray Durfee
Anderson Galleries
Joseph H. Hirshhorn
Stanley Stone
Polly Mariner Stone


The single-board, oblong top has square, inlaid, serpentine front and side edges, and is joined to its upper leaf by brass hinges screwed into the edges of their rear corners. There are two leaf-edge tenon joints. The single-board side rail is serpentine without and straight within. The single-board proper right side rail is serpentine without and straight within. The top is secured to its conformingly shaped frame by chamfered horizontal glue blocks ? two each at the rear and side rails (one block is missing from the proper right rail), and six at the front rail ? and by screws near the ends of three transverse battens which are set into grooves in the front rail and the interior rear rail. Half-lapped over the center and proper left transverse battens is a tip-bar for the drawer. A chamfered block behind the tip-bar appears to be a repair to the top?s underside. Each front corner of the frame contains two vertical chamfered glue blocks; the rear corners contain one triangular block apiece, the proper left one cut out to accommodate the drawer. Set into a cockbeaded surround, the serpentine, kerf-marked drawer front meets its slightly shorter, rounded-top drawer sides in dovetail joints having finely cut dovetails with half-pins above and half-pins with rabbets below. The full-width drawer bottom is nailed with brads into the front, sides and back. The top of the drawer back is flat. The drawer rests upon supports which are half-lapped to transverse battens dovetailed to the skirts of the front rail and interior rear rail. The rear drawer support is shorter than the forward support, and not connected to both battens. Drawer stops are glued to the tops of each support. The interior rear rail is fixed to the center portion of the exterior rail by four rosehead nails and to the side rails by rabbeted dovetail joints having finely cut pins with half-pins above and below. Both rear rails swing by means of round, five-fingered, carved wood hinges, and are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to their legs. The front legs are tenoned to the front and side rails. The front corners of the frame are ?icicle?-inlaid, as are the outside faces of the block atop the swinging legs. Each leg is line-inlaid down to its inlaid cuffs on the outside faces only. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, May 16, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


This table was one of four virtually identical tables sold in the Flayderman sale in 1930, two of which bore John Townsend's label and two of which did not. The tables were sold in two lots, each of which had a labeled and unlabeled table. Slight differences in construction between the labeled and unlabeled tables suggest they were made at different times. This table is the mate to the labeled table at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (RIF2760). Source: Liza and Michael Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's Later Tables," Antiques 119 (May 1981): 1153, figs. 2–3; Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker (New York, 2005), 162–163.

Related objects

See also


Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 328–329, no. 154, ill.
"American Art Association-Anderson Galleries, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 16, no. 6 (December 1929): 431, ill.
Stanley Stone, "Rhode Island Furniture at Chipstone, Part I," Antiques 91, no. 2 (February 1967): 208, ill.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 162–63, no. 40, ill.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640–1820 (Newport, R.I.: Preservation Society of Newport County, 1954), 97.
Anderson Galleries and American Art Association, New York, Colonial Furniture, Silver, and Decorations: The Collection of the Late Philip Flayderman, sale cat. (January 2–4, 1930), lot 470.
Benjamin Attmore Hewitt, Patricia E. Kane, and Gerald W. R. Ward, The Work of Many Hands: Card Tables in Federal America, 1790–1820, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 70, fig. 42.
Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, Choice Old English Silver, K'ang Hsi Porcelains, Important XVIII Century American Furniture from Four Private Collections, sale cat. (December 10, 1948), 62–63, lot 215.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (June 16, 1999), 146, fig. 3.
Alice Winchester, "Living with Antiques, The Milwaukee Home of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Stone," Antiques 69, no. 5 (May 1956): 436.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana: Including Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Elisha Hanson to Benefit the National Gallery of Art, sale cat. (January 20–22, 2006), 431, 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), 5n17.