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Dressing table. Black walnut veneer on top, soft maple legs and case sides, white pine secondary wood. Rectangular top with molded edge. Drawers configured with one long drawer above three smaller drawers. Drawer fronts framed by herringbone bands. Rests on four cabriole legs with pad feet.
tables (support furniture)
black walnut (wood)
Norway spruce (wood)
The wide overhanging top on this piece suggests why these were often called dressing tables. The broad surface provided a versatile space for the placement of a variety of items, whether for dressing or social purposes. Eighteenth-century inventories often list dressing tables as chamber tables in reference to their location in a bedchamber rather than to their specific purpose. Eighteenth-century Massachusetts residents might have placed toiletry items on their dressing table, but they could also use it to hold a tea service for the lady of the household and her friends. This example was likely made around 1740-1760 in the Salem-Danvers area.
Used at Barrett House (New Ipswich, N.H.),
30 x 34 7/8 x 22 3/8 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Caroline Barr Wade