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Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's, New York
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Dining table

Object number



Maker, possibly by John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809
Maker Unknown


Open: 27 59 54 in. (68.58 149.86 137.16 cm)



Current location



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


Maple (leaves, frame, and legs); birch (center of top); remnants of orange paint






Private collection, 1984. Sotheby's, New York, January 30–February 1, 1986, lot 596. Sotheby's, New York, January 21–22, 2000, lot 600. Sotheby's, New York, January 18–19, 2001, lot 761A. Sotheby's, New York, May 22, 2003, lot 841

Associated names



The oblong, single-board top has bowed ends and a quarter round edge, and is joined to its half-round, two-board leaves by six pairs of iron hinges, each hinge leaf thrice-screwed. The joints between top and leaves are quarter round. Four pairs of hinges are set at the corners of the frame; one of these is relocated and replaced. The remaining pair is set at the midpoint of the frame. The underside of one leaf bears a rectangular recess. The top is secured to the frame by means of two transverse battens, set into grooves in the tops of the inner, stationary rails and by later, L-shaped metal brackets. At the bottom of the frame are two more transverse battens, aligned with the battens above, dovetailed on one end into the inner rails, and on the other end into both the inner and outer rails. The inner and outer rails are joined with rosehead nails. The swinging portions of the outer rails, tenoned and wood-pinned to the blocks atop the legs, move by means of square, carved wood, five-knuckled hinges. The short, end rails are deeply scalloped. The turned, tapering legs end in outset, shod pad feet. Notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd from photographs supplied by Michael Moses.


Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 30–Februrary 1, 1986), lot 596, ill.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 149, fig. 3.71–3.71a.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (May 22, 2003), 131, lot 841, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana Including Silver, Prints, Folk Art, Furniture, and Property Formerly in the Estate of Ulysses S. Grant, sale cat. (January 18–19, 2001), 276–77, lot 761A, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 21–22, 2000), 281, lot 600.