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Photo: Courtesy Skinner, Inc., Boston and Marlborough, Mass.
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Dining table

Object number



Maker, attributed to John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809
(hinges) John Palmer, active 1750–70


Height: 28 1/2 in. (72.39 cm) Diameter: 61 in. (154.94 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


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


"IP," stamped on some hinges


"X," in graphite, on exterior of one stationary rail


Mary Bowers (née Sherburne) and Jerathmael Bowers (died 1799), Somerset, Massachusetts; by descent to their son John Bowers, Somerset, Massachusetts, about 1799; by descent in his family, until 2004; consigned to Skinner, Inc., Boston and Bolton, Massachusetts (sale held Boston), November 7, 2004, lot 127

Associated names

Jerathmael Bowers
Bowers Family
Skinner, Inc.


The oblong, single-board top has bowed ends and a slightly rounded edge. It is joined to its half-round, single-board leaves by six pairs of metal hinges, laid out with scribe lines. Each hinge leaf is thrice screwed. The top is secured to the frame by four rectangular longitudinal glue blocks (there are shadows of others) and by transverse battens set into grooves in the top of the inner rails and screwed into the underside of the top. The inner rails were formerly joined by two transverse battens set into dovetails in the bottom of the inner rails. The inner, stationary rails are joined to the outer, swinging rails by rosehead nails. The ends of the inner rails beside the swinging leg of the outer rails meet the short, flat-arch-skirted rails in rabbeted dovetail joints, having finely cut pins with half-pins above and below. The swinging rails move by means of carved-wood, five-knuckled circular hinges, and are tenoned to their legs, each joint showing two wood pins. The stationary legs are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to the short rails. Each inner rail is routed as if to receive a vertical glue block near its juncture with the short rail. The cabriole legs lack knee brackets, and are square-sectioned, with angular knees and deeply carved ankles. The claws have prominent knuckles and their undercut talons, some of which are missing, grasp elongated ball feet. Examined by P. E. Kane, November 7, 2004; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.


Skinner, Inc., Boston, American Furniture and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (November 7, 2004), 52–53, lot 127, 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), 123–24, no. 37, pl. 37.
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), 58n19.