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Tilt-top Table

1948.703 (RS33404)

Description

Tilt-top table. Birch; cherry; oak. Originally stained red. Refinished. Circular three-board top with molded edge has two cherry cleats. Top rests on a ring-turned urn pillar that terminates in plain cabriole legs and snake feet. Iron brace nailed beneath pillar and legs.

Details

Label
Pointed feet, which descend from three scalloped-cabriole legs, and a ring-turned central pillar support this tilt-top table. The plain, elongated feet which terminate in fine points do not bear the labor-intensive claws of more expensive ball and claw feet. Furniture historians refer to these as “snake feet” due to the snakelike resemblance of the combined feet and cabriole legs. Such feet appeared frequently in tables produced along the north shore of Massachusetts, from Boston to Newburyport. The tilting tabletop comprises another defining feature of this table. Often used to seat a party for tea, cabinetmakers in the eighteenth-century colonies frequently called tables of this form “tea tables” or “snap tables” referring to the sound they made when the hinged top latched into position. The owner of this table saved money not only by purchasing a less expensive foot design, but by choosing a table made of birch rather than the more costly mahogany.<br/>
Maker
unknown
Date
1755-1785
Location of origin
Boston, Massachusetts, New England
Material
birch (wood)
black cherry (wood)
Object type
Furniture
Places
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Massachusetts (United States)
Descriptive terms
birch (wood)
black cherry (wood)
Chippendale
Table
tables (support furniture)
tilt-top tables
Dimensions
28 x 32 7/8 x 31 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1948.703
Credit Line
Gift of Arthur Johnson
GUSN
54853

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