image of object
From: Gronning and Coes, "The Early Work of John Townsend in the Christopher Townsend Shop Tradition,"American Furniture(2013):42
Click the image to enlarge

Card table

Object number



Maker John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809


Closed: 27 35 16 1/2 in. (68.58 88.9 41.91 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (corner blocks and horizontal glue blocks); yellow poplar (corner blocks and lower brace); maple (hinged and stationary rails)


"John Townsend / Newport / 1762," in graphite, between hinged rails; "John Townsend / 1762," in graphite, on medial brace




Hyman Grossman, Inc., Boston, before 1980. Peter W. Eliot, by 1980 until at least 1982. Eric Noah, New York, 2005

Associated names

Hyman Grossman
Peter Eliot
Eric Noah


Both rear legs swing on rounded hinges. Braces are dovetailed to the bottom and top of the front rail and the stationary rail. The tops of the rear legs are rabetted to fit under the back corners of the table. The underside of the top has rough toothing plane marks. The top is held in place with three screws in pockets on the front rail and three on the stationary rail, as well as four horizontal glue blocks. The stationary rail is attached to the hinged rail with four rosehead nails. Marks from a bench dog are visible on the underside of the hinged rails. The stationary rail is dovetailed to the sides of the frame; the joints are reinforced with two-part corner blocks; the rear rail is relieved to accept the blocks. The front and side rails are tenoned into the front legs and are held in place with glue, but not pegs; two-part corner blocks reinforce those joints. Examined by P. E. Kane and D. A. Carr, May 9, 2006.


Some Rhode Island card tables on cabriole legs with claw-and-ball front feet and pad rear feet have blocked corners as well as blocking at the center of the front skirt. See the related examples below.

See also


Liza Moses and Michael Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's and John Goddard's Queen Anne and Chippendale Tables," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1131, fig. 2–2a.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 12, 89, 91,109, pl. 8, fig. 3.21–3.21a, 3.35.
Michael Moses and Liza Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's Later Tables," Antiques 119, no. 5 (May 1981): 1161–1162, fig. 15–15a.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 61, 80–83, 186–89, no. 2, fig. 51, 60.
Wendy A. Cooper, In Praise of America: American Decorative Arts, 1650–1830, Fifty Years of Discovery since the 1929 Girl Scouts Loan Exhibition (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980), 27, fig. 24.
Wendy A. Cooper, In Praise of America: Masterworks of American Decorative Arts, 1650-1830 (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1980), 14, fig. 3.
Brock Jobe and Myrna Kaye, New England Furniture: The Colonial Era (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984), 34, fig. I-39.
Erik K. Gronning and Amy Coes, "The Early Work of John Townsend in the Christopher Townsend Shop Tradition," American Furniture (2013): 42–43, fig. 94–96.
William C. Ketchum Jr., American Cabinetmakers: Marked American Furniture, 1640-1940 (New York: Crown Publishers, 1995), 343.