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Photo: Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2012.442.1
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Dining table

Object number



Maker John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809


Open: 28 3/4 62 1/4 58 1/4 in. (73.03 158.12 147.96 cm)



Current location

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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


Mahogany (primary); maple, red oak, and hickory (secondary)


"John Townsend 1756 / B," in graphite, on bottom of fixed top board; "John Towns[en]d," in graphite, on one fixed side rail; "John," in graphite, on adjacent hinged rail and on opposite fixed rail


"For Israel," in graphite, on fixed side rail; "Dimanche," embossed, and "J B M [?] P f [?]," in ink, on wove-paper label glued to stationary rail


Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, November 19–22, 1980, lot 1357; sold to Ann Holzer (1917–1999) and Philip Holzer (1919–2011), Great Neck, New York; given to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2001

Associated names

Ann Holzer
Sotheby Parke Bernet
Philip Holzer


The top is fastened to the frame with rosehead nails in three cross braces fastened to the side rails. Two cross braces dovetailed to the underside of the stationary rails reinforce the structure of the frame. Rosehead nails fasten the stationary rails to the hinged rails. One dovetail with half pins above and below secure the stationary rails to the mahogany table ends. The tops of the hinged legs are rabbeted to overlap the end rails.


Liza Moses and Michael Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's and John Goddard's Queen Anne and Chippendale Tables," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1130, fig. 1–1a.
Philip Holzer, Philip and Ann Holzer Collection (n.p.: privately printed, 1990), 40–43, no. 15, pl. 4.
Michael Moses and Liza Moses, "Authenticating John Townsend's Later Tables," Antiques 119, no. 5 (May 1981): 1163, fig. 16–16a.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 76–77, no. 1, ill.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 12, 66, 100, 105, pl. 9, fig. 3.1, 3.17–3.17a, 3.34.
Morrison H. Heckscher, "Newport in New York," Antiques and Fine Art 6 (Summer 2005): 134–135, fig. 1–2.
Morrison H. Heckscher, Amelia Peck, and Carrie Rebora Barratt, "Anatomy of an Acquisition," Antiques 160, no. 2 (August 2001): 190–192, pl. 1, ill.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, Important American Furniture and Related Decorative Arts, sale cat. (November 19–22, 1980), lot 1357, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, The Exceptional Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Arnold Mahogany High Chest, sale cat. (January 21, 2012), 12, fig. 1.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, and Chinese Export Art, sale cat. (January 23–24, and 27, 2014), 114.
Erik K. Gronning and Amy Coes, "The Early Work of John Townsend in the Christopher Townsend Shop Tradition," American Furniture (2013): 24–25, fig. 53–56.
William C. Ketchum Jr., American Cabinetmakers: Marked American Furniture, 1640-1940 (New York: Crown Publishers, 1995), 343.