• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2133

    American Furniture and Decorative Arts including English and Dutch Delft

    23 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 184

    A Chippendale Walnut Marble-Top Pier Table

    BOSTON, 1740-1750

    Price Realised  

    A Chippendale Walnut Marble-Top Pier Table
    Boston, 1740-1750
    As determined by microanalysis, the back rail is maple and the glue blocks are yellow pine
    32½ in. high, 50 in. wide, 23½ in. deep


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    This marble-top table stands as one of the most refined examples of an incredibly rare American form. Marble slab tables were included in Boston inventories as early as 1699 and became fashionable accents in the homes of prominent Bostonians like William Griffith, William Clark and Charles Apthorp by the 1740s (Mabel Munson Swan, "American Slab Tables," The Magazine Antiques (January 1953), p. 41). Few American tables share the elegance displayed on this example as most surviving tables are rectangular with serpentine corners. Dictated by the design of the pre-cut top, the curvilinear frame with outset rounded corners distinguishes this table and illustrates the skill of its maker.

    The elaborate serpentine top is a feature that appears in a few instances on related tables from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia including examples at Bayou Bend and those previously in the Joynt Collection and at Stratford Hall. The central laminate on the front rail with ogee scrolls featured on this table also appears on the table at Bayou Bend (David B. Warren et al., American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection (Princeton, New Jersey, 1998), fig. 188, p. 69, Christie's New York, The Collection of May and Howard Joynt, Alexandria, Virginia, January 19-20, 1990, lot 495, Sotheby's New York, January 16, 1999, lot 849, and Christie's New York, January 18-19, 2007, lot 605).

    The use of walnut, the design of the leg and the handling of the projecting ball and claw feet are distinctive elements of 1730s-1740s Boston cabinetmaking epitomized by the Apthorp chairs (see Morrison H. Heckscher, American Furniture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles (New York, 1985), fig. 22, pp. 63-65). The richly carved foliate design seen on the knees of this table are also seen on several Boston chairs including a pair at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Heckscher, fig. 13, pp. 50-51) and a side chair in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (John T. Kirk, American Chairs: Queen Anne and Chippendale (New York, 1972), fig. 125, p. 110).

    Provenance

    Joe Kindig, Jr. & Son, York, Pennsylvania


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from a Private American Collection