Rare Pair of American Federal Mahogany Card Tables, Possibly Philadelphia or New England States c. 1790-1800
Item # 130108USB12
This is a fantastic and rare acquisition - a fully original Pair of American Federal Mahogany Card Tables. They probably originate from Philadelphia, though this form is also found in New York and the New England States. The tops are simply above reproach, each a single solid plank of mahogany with stringer inlay along the outer edges; the curved ovolu corners are sharp and precise, the boards each displaying magnificent dense grains and lifting over original untouched hinges. Brilliant mahogany veneers are edged with cockbead molding applied along the lower edge. All four legs have great form, these a distinctive evolution of the Marlboro leg with a well developed taper.
Beneath the mahogany veneers, the sides of the tables are crafted mostly of white pine with some solid mahogany; the back gate leg is oak and the back of the frame is white pine. The gate leg is affixed to the back of the frame with eight wrought nails on one table, seven wrought nails on the other. Original blocking is retained on one table, the other crafted without this blocking - interior structure shows no evidence of the table ever having been crafted with the blocking, which was probably deemed superfluous in light of the remarkable strength of the structure. Another minor variation between the tables is the gate leg: one table has a double pinned tenon joint, the other table crafted with the same tenon joint but only using glue.
For any serious collector of fine American Federal antiques, this is an exceptional pair of card tables. They are very rare and difficult to acquire in original pairs, often being separated by heirs as family members divide out the inheritance. Remaining in an excellent state of preservation, these are a very desirable acquisition.
Measurements: [table one] 37 5/8" wide x 18 1/4" deep x 29 5/8" high; 36 11/16" deep x 29" high when opened; [table two] 37 5/8" wide x 18 5/16" deep x 29 9/16" high; 36 7/8" deep x 28 7/8" high opened
[table one] French polished surface; a water mark on opened top; a handful of scratches and abrasions to all three surfaces. Front right leg repaired from the inside with a few screws.
[table two] Front right leg with a repaired old break; surface a drier and less vibrant polished surface than the first table - they can easily be matched if this one were french polished, as the color of both tables is outstanding. Veneer chipping and loss in two places.
Both tables have minor dings and abrasions as expected. One tenon joint just slightly loose (note the slight "inward" bend visible in the primary picture: the left table), not noteworthy or requiring any attention. Both are very stable, retaining original hinges, screws, blocking and remaining untouched other than the refinished surfaces. A very fine pair.
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