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Pembroke table. Mahogany; birch side and swing rails; white pine and other secondary wood. Square top with two rectangular flanking leaves. Each leaf supported by two swing rails hinged to side rails. Top and leaves composed of a single board. Diamond-shaped shelf consists of two lapped boards held at lap with two original round-headed screws. Rests on four fixed Marlborough legs.
tables (support furniture)
In his celebrated 1754 publication The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director, English furniture designer and cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale listed small tables with folding leaves such as this one, made by George Bright for Jonathan Bowman in 1770, as Breakfast tables. Despite the name, given the multipurpose nature of furniture and rooms in eighteenth-century New England, Bowman and his contemporaries used this type of table to read and write at as well as to enjoy breakfast. In inventories of the 1770s, the terms Pembroke and breakfast appeared interchangeably to describe these types of tables. Like drop leaf tables, Pembroke tables contained two leaves which, when opened, provided additional tabletop space.
Original To Bowman-Carney House (Dresden, Me.),
Bright, George, 1726-1805
28 x 30 3/16 x 38 7/8 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Miss Florence L. Bixby