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Tilt-top table

Object number



Maker Unknown


25 27 3/8 27 in. (63.5 69.53 68.58 cm)



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); mahogany (drawer sides and backs); cedrilla (drawer bottoms)




“1” through “5,” in graphite, on tops of dividers [newer numbers written over old]; “1” through “5,” in graphite, on the interior drawer backs and some interior front corners


Private collection, New England; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 23, 25, 2015, lot 877

Associated names

Private Collection


The circular, single-board top has an edge which is raised, molded, and slightly stepped at the transition to its underside, which is fitted with two cleats with rounded ends and edges. The cleats have quarter round profiles near the ends and coved profiles at the transitions to their deeper middle portions. Each cleat is fixed to the top with countersunk screws, some flat-headed, some dome-topped, some with flush wood plugs. A portion of the top has been repaired; there are two butterfly joints on the underside. A circular brass catch latch attached with three brass screws locks the top to a brass plate in the edge of a corner of its pedestal top. Dowels integral with the straight side of the triangular pedestal top fit into holes in the cleats and cause the top to tilt in such a way as to allow the table to stand in a corner when it is not in use. On the upper surface of the pedestal top are several wood pins or wood-filled fasteners. The corners of the incurvate-sided pedestal below are tapered half-columns with turned capitals and bases and rectangular plinths. One face of the pedestal consists of a single-board door, flat on the inside, which opens to five graduated concave-blocked drawers whose kerf-marked fronts meet their somewhat shorter round-topped sides in dovetail joints having finely cut narrow-necked pins of slightly varying configuration, with half-pins above and half-pins with rabbets below. The incurvate rear portions of the drawer sides are not integral with the straight-front portions. The lowest, deepest drawer is divided by a partition set into grooves between the straight and incurvate portions of the drawer sides. The flat drawer bottoms, perpendicular to the fronts, are glued into rabbets in the elements above. Concave-blocked drawer dividers fit into grooves in the pedestal walls and match the profile of the stiles? integral cockbeading. The incurvate faces of the pedestal base are molded, the undersides are chamfered. There are two later nails in the underside of the base. Metal brackets attached with screws and rosehead nails conceal the joints between the legs and the pedestal base. The cabriole legs have scroll and leaf-carved knees, rounded tops, scribe-lined flat undersides, and shod snake feet. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, October 24, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

See also


Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 23, 25, 2015), 88, lot 877, 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), 327nn1, 4.