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Photo: Courtesy Milwaukee Art Museum, M1969.12.001
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Card table

Object number



Maker Unknown
Maker, formerly attributed to John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809


Closed: 28 3/4 34 16 3/4 in. (73.025 86.36 42.545 cm) Depth open: 33 1/4 in. (84.455 cm)



Current location

Milwaukee Art Museum


Probably made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); eastern white pine (spacer between hinged and fixed rails, corner blocks, and glue blocks); cherry (swinging hinged rail); hickory (hinge pin)






John S. Walton, Inc., New York, 1969; sold to the Milwaukee Art Museum, 1969

Associated names

John S. Walton, Inc.


The single-board, oblong top has a cove-molded and beaded edge, and is serpentine at its front and sides, with rounded, pointed corners. Joined to it, with brass hinges in the rear corners, is a conformingly shaped top leaf, with a beaded and gouge-decorated edge. The top is secured to its conformingly shaped frame by screw pockets and by rectangular horizontal and vertical glue blocks. The interrupted bead molding at the skirt is the front of a broad molding nailed to the undersides of the serpentine rails. The rails are tenoned into the front legs, each joint showing two wood pins. Fixed to the underside of the serpentine rails and to the inside faces of the front legs are openwork brackets. There are similar brackets at the back of the frame, fixed to the bottom of the rails and to vertical extensions of the inner, rear rail. This rear rail meets the side rails in finely cut dovetail joints at both ends, and is separated from the outer rear rail by a large spacer block. Both rear legs swing by means of carved wood, five-knuckled hinges. The legs, trapezoidal in plan, are stop-fluted on their outside faces, and slightly chamfered on their inside corners. Notes compiled from photographs supplied by the Milwaukee Art Museum.


RIF191, RIF308, and RIF146 share a similar treatment of the interrupted bead molding along the frame edge and unusual interlaced corner brackets.

See also


Brock Jobe et al., American Furniture with Related Decorative Arts, 1660–1830: The Milwaukee Art Museum and the Layton Art Collection, ed. Gerald W. R. Ward (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1991), 182–185, no. 68, ill.
Brock Jobe, Gary R. Sullivan, and Jack O'Brien, Harbor and Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710–1850 (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 2009), 411, entry 41n3.
Karen Jones, "American Furniture in the Milwaukee Art Center," Antiques 111, no. 5 (May 1977): 982, fig. 10.