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A WILLIAM AND MARY WALNUT TWIST-CARVED AND DRAW-BAR OVAL TABLE
PROPERTY OF WEA ENTERPRISES
A WILLIAM AND MARY WALNUT TWIST-CARVED AND DRAW-BAR OVAL TABLE

NEW YORK CITY, 1690-1730

Details
A WILLIAM AND MARY WALNUT TWIST-CARVED AND DRAW-BAR OVAL TABLE
NEW YORK CITY, 1690-1730
28¾ in. high, 26½ in. wide, 45¼ in. long
Provenance
Fred J. Johnston, circa 1988
Literature
Roderic H. Blackburn and Ruth Piwonka, Remembrance of Patria: Dutch Arts and Culture in Colonial America, 1609-1776 (Albany, 1988), p. 174, cat. 186.
Peter M. Kenny, "Flat Gates, Draw Bars, Twists, and Urns: New York's Distinctive, Early Baroque Oval Tables with Falling Leaves," American Furniture 1994, Luke Beckerdite, ed. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1994), p. 132, fn. 10. (referenced)
Exhibited
Albany, New York, Albany Institute of History and Art: Remembrance of Patria, 9 May-12 October, 1986.

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Lot Essay

With twist-carved legs and a draw-bar support, this drop-leaf table is an exceedingly rare example of early New York craftsmanship. As discussed by Peter Kenny in 1994, only seventeen New York draw-bar tables are known and of these, only five feature the exuberant spiral- or twist-carved legs so illustrative of the Baroque aesthetic. The earliest of these may be the example at Winterthur Museum (fig. 1) as its double-Y stretcher follows the same pattern as that on an imported Dutch table made in 1660-1680, which descended in the Phillipse family. The other four, including the table offered here, have broad rectangular frames, to accommodate the draw-bar support, and twist-carved cross stretchers. The legs are pinned to the corners of the dovetailed frame, which allows the leg to be rotated and the lower block positioned at 90 degrees to the stretcher, thus providing a more secure joint. Though made in a different shop, the example offered here is most closely related to one in a private collection, illustrated in Kenny, fig. 11; the last two in the group both feature apron corners with applied plaques, possibly to emulate heavy joinery, and may be the work of another single shop. These tables are five of only twenty known examples of American furniture with twist-carved legs, a decorative treatment that required meticulous craftsmanship and was a more expensive option to turned legs. Illustrating Continental European practices, this table and other New York twist-carved furniture feature single twists and contrast with the tighter double twists seen on similar furniture made in New England, Pennsylvania and the South. See Peter M. Kenny, "Flat Gates, Draw Bars, Twists, and Urns: New York's Distinctive, Early Baroque Oval Tables with Falling Leaves," American Furniture 1994, Luke Beckerdite, ed. (Milwaukee, WI, 1994), pp. 109-116, 122-123, 133, fn. 19; Benno M. Forman, American Seating Furniture, 1630-1730 (New York, 1988), pp. 220-223.

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