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Photo: Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Centruy American Arts, 39.138
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Pembroke table

Object number



Maker Holmes Weaver, American, 1769–1848, active 1796–1848


27 36 1/4 24 3/4 in. (68.58 92.075 62.865 cm)



Current location

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


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


Mahogany, mahogany veneer, dark and lightwood inlay (primary); cherry (hinged rails, front rails, laminates of rear rail, and drawer front, sides, and back); white pine (stationary rails, drawer runners, drawer stops, blocks at rear rail, and drawer bottom)


"[H]OLMES WEAVER, / [Cabinet] & Chair Maker / Newport," printed on paper label glued to interior bottom of drawer


Mathematical calculations, in chalk, on interior of proper-left hinged rail; scroll or “C” and “No 1,” in graphite, on one of interior partitions of drawer; circle with loop at top, in graphite, on interior drawer back


Catherine Tillinghast Dennis (1777–1810) and John Dennis (1173–1844), Newport, Rhode Island; or Catherine Engs Dennis (1783–1860) and John Dennis (1773–1844), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to the later's daughters Catherine Tillinghast Dennis (1813–1891) and Sarah Brown Dennis (1825–1909), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to their nephew, William Engs Dennis, Jr. (1873–after 1951), Newport, Rhode Island; sold prior to 1938 to George E. Vernon and Company, Newport, Rhode Island; sold to Martha Codman Karolik (1858–1948) and Maxim Karolik (1893–1963), Boston, and Newport, Rhode Island, 1938; given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1939

Associated names

William Engs Dennis, Jr.
John Dennis
Martha Codman Karolik
Maxim Karolik
Catherine Tillinghast Dennis
Sarah Brown Dennis
George E. Vernon and Company


The top is single-board, bowed and line-inlaid at its edges, and line-inlaid at the perimeter. The flanking, similarly inlaid, half-round leaves are attached to it with four pairs of metal hinges, each leaf thrice-screwed. The joint between top and leaves is quarter round. The top bears prominent scribe lines and is secured to its frame by four screw pockets, two each inside the interior long rails, and by horizontal rectangular glue blocks, three each at the short rails. The interior and exterior long rails are joined by rosehead nails. One bowed end contains a drawer with a bowed, veneered, and line-inlaid face, with a veneered top rail and line-inlaid bottom rail. The drawer rests on supports fixed to the interior rails with brads, at the end of which are large vertical drawer stops, similarly secured. The other bowed end has a straight interior face consisting of four laminations. At the midpoint of the outer rails are circular, carved wood, six-knuckled hinges for the trapezoidal leg supports. The neighboring rails bear quarter-spherical cut out finger pulls. The tops of the legs are inlaid with urns and plinths, the tapering shafts with swags, lines, tassels, inset panels and triangles. Notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd from photographs supplied by the Museum of Fine Art, Boston.

See also


Joseph K. Ott, "Lesser-Known Rhode Island Cabinetmakers: The Carliles, Holmes Weaver, Judson Blake, the Rawsons, and Thomas Davenport," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1158–1159, pl. 3, fig. 5.
Edwin J Hipkiss, Eighteenth-Century American Arts: The M. and M. Karolik Collection (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1950), 126–127, no. 67, ill.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 114, fig. 3.30–3.30a.
Michael Moses and Liza Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's Later Tables," Antiques 119, no. 5 (May 1981): 1161, fig. 14–14a.
Stanley Stone, "Rhode Island Furniture at Chipstone, Part I," Antiques 91, no. 2 (February 1967): 210.
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), 4, 55, 400–402, 406, 412n4, no. 91, fig. 1–4.
William C. Ketchum Jr., American Cabinetmakers: Marked American Furniture, 1640-1940 (New York: Crown Publishers, 1995), 360–361.