The Devotion family, headed by its patriarch, Reverend Ebenezer Devotion (1714-1771) and his wife, Martha Lathrop (1716-1795), played an important role in the development of Windham County, Connecticut. A graduate of Yale College, Rev. Devotion was a farmer and teacher, and the first minister of Scotland, Connecticut. He and his wife had five daughters and a son, Ebenezer Jr. (1740-1829), who also attended Yale and later became a judge and prosperous merchant. In 1764, Ebenzer Jr. married Eunice Huntington (1743-1827) the daughter of Jonathan Huntington of New London and a member of the Huntington family that was active during the Revolutionary War. They had three sons, two of which survived to raise families of their own. Ebenezer's sister, Martha, had married into the Huntington family as well and these two families formed strong social and political connections.
As rural gentry in the second half of the eighteenth century, the Devotion family was able to afford moderately expensive furnishings, clothing and other objects of embellishment that bespoke their status. In 1772, Judge Devotion commissioned Winthrop Chandler to paint full-length portraits of him (Scotland Historical Society) and his wife (Lyman Allyn Art Museum), as well as smaller portraits of each of his three sons (one of which is offered as lot 444, Christie's New York Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Prints and Decoys, January 18, 2008.
The Pembroke table offered here descended in the Devotion family and may be one of the "small tables" listed in Judge Devotion's probate inventory. His surviving account books list transactions with several local furniture makers, including Felix Huntington (1749-1822), Theodosius Parsons, Jabez Gilbert (d. 1827), Ebenezer Tracy (1744-1803), and Amos Denison Allen (1774-1855); it is likely that this table was locally made in Eastern, Connecticut.
For a dressing table that also descended in the Devotion family, see Important American Furniture, Folk Art Prints and Decoys, January 18, 2008, lot 445.