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John Townsend, American (Newport, Rhode Island), 1733–1809. One of a pair of card tables, 1794. Mahogany, chestnut, satinwood, maple and birch, 28 1/8 x 33 15/16 x 16 3/8 (33-524). The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 33-524
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Card table, one of a pair

Object number



Maker John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809


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



Current location

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri


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


Mahogany (primary), shaded holly (inlays); maple (hinged rail); white pine (stationary rail); yellow poplar (drawer sides); chestnut (drawer bottom)


"MADE BY / JOHN TOWNSEND, / NEWPORT," printed, and "1794," in ink, on paper label in drawer


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 by her to Philip Flayderman, Boston; consigned by his estate to American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, Inc., New York, January 2–4, 1930, lot 470; sold to Israel Sack, Inc., Boston, and New York; consigned American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, Inc., New York, January 9, 1932, lot 40; sold by Sack to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Fine Art, Kansas City, Missouri, 1933

Associated names

Colonel John Cooke
Rhoda Cooke
George Wanton Gray
American Art Association
Philip Flayderman
Israel Sack, Inc.
Thomas T. Gray
Phoebe McCorrie Gray Durfee


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 Chipstone Foundation (RIF1018). 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


Michael Moses and Liza Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's Later Tables," Antiques 119, no. 5 (May 1981): 1153, fig. 2, 2a, 3, 3a.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 81, fig. 2.9–2.9a, 3.19.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640–1820 (Newport, R.I.: Preservation Society of Newport County, 1954), 97, no. 69, ill.
"Israel Sack, Inc., advertisement," Antiquarian 17, no.2 (August 1931): 2, ill.
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 or 471, ill.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 162–63, no. 40, ill.
Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 328-329, referenced in a discussion of The Chipstone Foundation example.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (June 16, 1999), 146, ill.
American Art Association and Anderson Galleries, New York, One Hundred Important American Antiques, sale cat. (January 9, 1932), 52–53, lot 40.