image of object
From: Gronning and Coes, "The Early Work of John Townsend in the Christopher Townsend Shop Tradition,"American Furniture(2013):40
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Card table

Object number



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


Closed: 27 1/2 35 1/2 18 1/2 in. (69.85 90.17 46.99 cm)



Current location

The Chipstone Foundation


Possibly made in Newport or Providence, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); mahogany (upper cross brace); maple (stationary and hinged rails); white pine (glue blocks)




Faint graphite [possibly "M"], on exterior of hinged rails


Stephen Hopkins (1707–1785), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent in his family; Israel Sack, Inc., New York, 1954; sold to Charles K. Davis (1889–1968), Fairfield, Connecticut, 1954. John S. Walton, Inc., New York, 1970; sold to Polly Mariner Stone (1898–1995) and Stanley Stone (1896–1987), Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1970; bequeathed by Stanley Stone to The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1987

Associated names

Stephen Hopkins
Charles K. Davis
Israel Sack, Inc.
John S. Walton, Inc.
Stanley Stone
Polly Mariner Stone


The single-board top has a rounded edge, outset rectangular front and rear corners, and an outset portion at its front edge. It is joined to its conformingly shaped single-board top leaf by brass hinges set into their rear corners, and secured to the conformingly shaped frame below by horizontal rectangular glue blocks ? four at the front rail, one each at the side rails, and two at the rear. There are two leaf-edge tenons, and a single screw pocket inside the proper right end of the inner rear rail. A transverse batten is dovetailed into the bottom of the front and rear rails at their respective midpoints. In each front corner of the frame are two rectangular vertical glue blocks; the glue blocks in the rear corners are missing. The front and side rails are tenoned, without wood pins, to the rectangular tops of the front legs. The middle of the interior rear rail is fixed with rosehead nails to the exterior rear rail, and meets the side rails in dovetail joints, each having finely cut, narrow-necked pins, with half-pins above and below. Each swinging portion of the exterior rail moves by means of a round, five-fingered carved wood hinge. One is tenoned, and fixed with a rosehead nail and a wood pin to the rabbeted rectangle atop its swing leg, the other is tenoned without further attachment. One joint contains a later screw. The cabriole legs are square-sectioned, with angular knees. The rear legs end in shod pad feet with incised heels. The knees of the front legs have scrolling acanthus carving continuing onto the knee brackets, which are held on with glue. The front legs end in deeply carved ankles, claws and undercut talons, grasping undercut elongated ball feet. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, May 23, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd


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


Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640–1820 (Newport, R.I.: Preservation Society of Newport County, 1954), 90, 209, no. 62.
"John S. Walton, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 98, no. 6 (December 1970): 828, ill.
Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), xxx, 322–323, no. 151.
Luke Beckerdite and Alan Miller, "Furniture Fakes from the Chipstone Collection," American Furniture (2002): 71, fig. 34.
Erik K. Gronning and Amy Coes, "The Early Work of John Townsend in the Christopher Townsend Shop Tradition," American Furniture (2013): 39–41, fig. 90.
Ann Smart Martin, Makers and Users: American Decorative Arts, 1630–1820, from the Chipstone Collection, exh. cat. (Madison, Wis.: Elvehjem Museum of Art, 1999), 32, no. 21, p.12 fig. 4.