image of object
From: Jeffrey P. Green, American Furniture of the 18th Century: History, Technique, Structure (Newton, Conn.: The Taunton Press, 1996), 287.
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Card tables, pair

Object number



Maker Joseph Rawson and Son, active 1808–26


Closed: 28 1/2 × 37 × 18 in. (72.39 × 93.98 × 45.72 cm)



Current location

The Rhode Island Historical Society


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


Mahogany and satinwood veneer (primary); cherry (hinged rail); pine (all other secondary wood)


"Joseph Rawson and Son's / CABINET FURNITURE / MANUFACTORY, / NEAR THE THEATRE, / PROVIDENCE. / All kinds of Cabinet Furniture executed in the newest Fashions.," printed on paper label glued to stationary rail behind hinged rail


“/,” in graphite, on both ends of exterior hinged rail; “Dr. Ely,” in chalk, on underside of top


Joseph Cady (1772–1862), Glocester and Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to his granddaughter, Susan Ely (née Backus,1824–1909) and her husband, Dr. James Winchell Coleman Ely (1820–1906), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to their daughter, Ruth Ely (1881–1973), Providence, Rhode Island, by 1965. Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence

Associated names

Ruth Ely
Joseph Cady
Susan Ely
Dr. James Winchell Coleman Ely


Each table?s oblong, single-board lower leaf has outset rounded corners, inlaid serpentine edges at its front and sides and is joined to its conformingly shaped and inlaid upper leaf by brass hinges set into the leaves? rear corners. There are no leaf-edge joints. The top is secured to the conformingly shaped frame, whose front and sides are elaborately veneered, by seven screw pockets ? three in the front rail, one each in the side rails, and two inside the stationary rear rail ? and by multiple glue blocks, some triangular or chamfered, most rectangular, some missing. The front rail is serpentine inside and out; the side rails are serpentine outside and straight inside. Rosehead nails inside the interior rear rail secure it to the proper left, stationary portion of the exterior rear rail. Large vertical triangular glue blocks are nailed with brads into the front corners of the frame. Vertical rectangular blocks are glued into the rear corners. There is continuous blocking between the stationary portion of the exterior rear rail and the interior rear rail. The interior rail meets the side rail behind the swinging portion of the exterior rail in a dovetail joint, having large thick-necked pins with half-pins above and below. There are blocks inside and outside the end of the swinging portions of the exterior rail, which moves by means of a square, five-knuckled, carved wood hinge. Glued to the outside of the stationary, proper left end of the exterior rear rail is a corresponding block. The ring-turned, reeded and fluted, tapering legs are tenoned to the rails without wood pins. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, August 18, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


Joseph K. Ott, The John Brown House Loan Exhibition of Rhode Island Furniture, exh. cat. (Providence: The Rhode Island Historical Society, 1965), 46–47, 165, no. 37.
Eleanore Bradford Monahon, "Providence Cabinetmakers of the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries," Antiques 87, no. 5 (May 1965): 576, 578, fig. 9–10.
Eleanore Bradford Monahon, "The Rawson Family of Cabinetmakers in Providence, Rhode Island," Antiques 118, no. 1 (July 1980): 138, pl. 5.
Karen Jones, "Museum Accessions," Antiques 107, no. 5 (May 1975): 832.
Jeffrey P. Greene, American Furniture of the 18th Century: History, Technique, Structure (Newtown, Conn: The Taunton Press, 1996), 93, 286–288, ill.