A diminutive antique Chippendale mahogany serpentine games table, possibly by John Townsend, Newport Rhode Island, circa 1780.
This attractive antique games table reflects the refined cabinetmaking of the best shops of Newport during the last quarter of the 18th Century. The usage of wonderfully figured mahogany, delicately carved details and stop-fluting in the legs, demonstrate a high quality of craftsmanship that is associated with the Townsend School of cabinetmaking. In “Master Craftsmen of Newport” by Michael Moses page 50 he states, “This form was popular in Newport and was most likely made by all the Townsends”.
The table has a mellow warm color with wonderful old surface. The folding top, which is constructed of richly grained mahogany, has serpentine shaped front and sides with blocked corners. The edge of the fly leaf has a repeating notched fluting and the fixed half meets the top with a flared finger molding. The top rests above a conforming apron with a vertical serpentine valance, bordered with a carved rope decoration. The apron joins the chamfered legs at the blocked corners which are decorated with pierced corner brackets. The squared legs have stop fluting extending a third of the way up the leg. The left rear leg has a hinged finger joint that swings out to support the top in the open position. For a nearly identical antique games table see, “American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection”; volume VI, Page 31, figure 4351 and Parke Bernet, Sale # 599, December 6-9, 1944 Haskell Collection, Lot 411.
Dimensions: Height: 29 ½”; Width 30 ½”; Depth closed 14 ”
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