American Chippendale Walnut Drop Leaf Dining Table, Pennsylvania or Delaware c. 1760-80
Item # 130002IWT18
The drop leaf table was a very prominent form in homes of the higher classes, a wonderful solution to entertaining regularly in the home. This table was almost certainly part of a pair originally, two sets of bracket holes on one leaf evidence of clasps that would have attached to the leaves of the other table to create a solid surface. An pair of tables of very similar construction and form sold at Christies (Lot 322, Sale 1189, sold as a pair for $13,145), though finding pairs together is exceedingly difficult as these were regularly broken up as they were passed down in families.
Construction: The top is crafted of five boards butt-jointed with tongue-in-groove joinery assisting in all but one leaf, this probably a later solution to the uneven shrinking of the boards, secured from the underside with butterfly dovetails. The leaves hang over ruled joints, lifting on two swinging gate legs, the frame and knuckle crafted of solid oak double pinned to the square Marlborough leg. The oak rails are affixed with scattered rosehead nails to the poplar frame rails coupled with one original hand filed screw set in wells into the top on both sides, these boards joined to the mahogany front and back rails with exposed dovetails behind the gate legs. Three dovetailed walnut braces join the frame to the top, these absent several screws, the top likewise secured with three hand filed screws set evenly in wells through the mahogany front and back rails. A single thick walnut brace dovetails into either side of the bottom of the frame, reglued during the 20th Century.
This form is less than typical, one that does not appear on the market frequently. Crafted with the clean simplicity we cherish in works of Chester County and the Delaware River Valley, the table is free of embellishment or unnecessary decoration - a well patinated surface shows great character, this emboldened by the strength and masculinity of the block feet. It is a piece you will cherish in your collection for a lifetime.
Materials: Oak (outer rails, gate leg frame), Poplar (sides of interior frame), Walnut (front and back of table frame, all leaves and legs)
Measurements: 53 3/8" deep x 48 1/8" wide x 28 3/4" high; leaves are 17 13/16" and 17 5/8" in depth
Condition Report: Finish is somewhat early beneath many layers of later wax, though the surface has much variation of color, including scars, abrasions and other use indicators. Wax on the frame and legs dirty and should be removed and reapplied at some point. Top is fully original, secured with mostly original hand filed screws (some replaced); each leaf and top two board construction, the boards butt-jointed with tongue-in-groove joinery, though this is not the case on one leaf. We believe the tongue-in-groove joinery is probably a later joining as the boards separated over time. One hinge replaced, all others original. One butterfly dovetail replaced under leaf, all others are very early. Holes on end of one leaf suggest this was originally a pair of tables with latches at the joining end. Crack above one hinge on leaf. Dovetail beneath frame secured with later glue. Strong and stable, fully functional and in overall outstanding condition.
Item ID: 130002IWT18
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Period American Furniture, French Furnishings, Fine Nineteenth Century Art and Sculpture
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