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William and Mary Gateleg Table

1971.65 (RS33484)

Description

Drop-leaf gateleg table. Black walnut with white pine secondary wood. One piece oval center top board with tongue and groove interface and two-board drop leaves. Pine apron has single nailed drawer with turned wooden pull. Drawer slides on medial support. Rests on eight turned legs, four of which originate from corners of apron. Two stiles of each turned gateleg form four legs. Turned stretchers connect all stiles. Legs terminate in elongated hemispherical turning and small bun feet. Table exhibits light stained finish.

Details

Label
A group of four to six could sit comfortably around this turned, oval-shaped black walnut drop leaf table. Produced in the Boston area around 1715-1740, the leaves of the table's top could be folded down, or propped up on the decorative vase-and-ring turned legs to accommodate a larger group. Ovals constituted the most common shape for drop leaf tables in Massachusetts inventories. While fashionable in England in the late seventeenth century, drop leaf tables gained popularity in the American colonies around 1700 and remained in-demand in until roughly the 1750s. Not only used for dining but for writing as well, the drop leaf table's foldable leaves made it a versatile piece. When not in use, the table's owner could fold its leaves downward and prop it against the wall to free up floor space in a multipurpose room of the early eighteenth century.<br/>
Maker
unknown
Date
1715-1740
Location of origin
Boston, MA, Boston, Massachusetts area
Material
eastern white pine (wood)
walnut (wood)
Object type
Furniture
Places
New England (United States) [general region]
Descriptive terms
eastern white pine (wood)
Furniture
Table
tables (documents)
walnut (wood)
William and Mary
Dimensions
29 1/4 x 54 1/2 x 64 5/8 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1971.65
Credit Line
Estate of Mary Thacher
GUSN
245847

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