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Dressing table. Black walnut with white pine secondary wood. Four turned maple legs, flat crossed stretchers. Black walnut veneered top, skirt, stiles, and drawer fronts. Case sides composed of black walnut. Original brass hardware. Locks never made.
black walnut (wood)
eastern white pine (wood)
Dressing tables like this one were placed in bedchambers and because they typically did not have lockable drawers they were used to house small non-valuable objects. They provided a place to apply cosmetics or jewelry. A looking glass, hung on the wall over the table, or a dressing glass-a small mirror attached to a small dressing box-that sat atop the table would have facilitated the owner's toilette ritual. This dressing table was created about 1720-1735 in the Boston area. It was made in the William and Mary style that prevailed in the early eighteenth century, characterized by the deeply curved skirt, the two drop finials, and the delicate turned legs. The stretchers that form a Baroque X near the base of the legs provide stability as well as decoration. The legs are connected in a fragile manner, typical of much William and Mary furniture, to blocks glued into the case. Stretchers appear on many pieces of furniture of this period as a strengthening element.
Title High Chest Accession Number 1984.20
33 1/8 x 33 3/4 x 21 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Mrs. Charles F. Batchelder, Jr.
Section 392, 393
Probably Massachusetts (United States)
Probably Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)