Displaying masterfully carved asymmetrical C-scroll ornament on the knees, this concertina-action card table is part of a small group of Boston furniture with elaborate carving executed by the same expert hand. In contrast to the comparative restraint seen on other high-style Chippendale furniture from Boston, this group of furniture exhibits carved ornament that rivals the celebrated work of Philadelphia craftsmen during the same era. Including hairy paw chairs and settees, this group was carved by an individual emulating the decoration on a set of British chairs that may have been brought to Boston in 1750 by William Phillips. See Luke Beckerdite, "Carving Practices in Eighteenth-Century Boston," Old-Time New England: Essays in Memory of Benno M. Forman, vol. 72 (Boston 1987), pp. 123-137; Mary Ellen Hayward Yehia, "Ornamental Carving on Boston Furniture of the Chippendale Style," Boston Furniture of the Eighteenth Century (Boston 1974), pp. 201-206; Morrison H. Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1985), pp. 140-142, cat. 83; Nancy E. Richards and Nancy Goyne Evans, New England Furniture at Winterthur (Winterthur, DE, 1997), pp. 181-182, cat. 97.
According to a note written by Mrs. Amherst D. Frazar, the table belonged to Amherst Alden Frazar (1804-1876), a merchant and ship owner of Boston and Duxbury and had "always been in the Frazar family." The note, its current whereabouts unknown, accompanied the sale of the table at auction in 1977 and is fully transcribed in Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc., The American Heritage Auction of Americana, 17-19 November 1977, lot 1187. In that catalogue entry, the table was presumed to have been made for Amherst's grandfather, Captain Thomas Frazar (1735-1782) of Duxbury. For more on Captain Frazar, see Justin Winsor, History of the Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts (Boston, 1849), pp. 259-260; www.frazar.org.