Tilt-top Table

Collection Type

  • Furniture

Date

1755-1785

GUSN

GUSN-54853

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

Descriptive Terms

tilt-top tables
tables (support furniture)
birch (wood)
black cherry (wood)
Chippendale
Table

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.

Maker

Unknown

Location of Origin

Boston, Massachusetts, New England

Dimensions

28 x 32 7/8 x 31 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Arthur Johnson

Accession Number

1948.703

Places

Massachusetts (United States)
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)