An archetypal Philadelphia form, this Chippendale dressing table with shell-carved drawer is a natural candidate for Philadelphia attribution. The table, however, features many characteristics typical of Maryland and could have been manufactured anywhere in this region.
The broad lobed shell carving in this example is associated with Maryland as is the quality of three lower drawers of equal width. While the fluted canted corners are characteristic of Maryland, those on this dressing table do not end in the point that is so often seen in Maryland case pieces (for two lowboys with this design, see Weidman, Furniture in Maryland: 1740-1940 (Baltimore, 1984), p. 66-67, no. 29 and Hummel, A Winterthur Guide to American Chippendale Furniture: Middle Atlantic and Southern Colonies (New York, 1976), p. 117, fig. 107). While the molded top with deep overhang and cusped corners could signify Maryland or Phildelphia, the molding beneath the top is more typical of the latter. Likewise, the acanthus-carved and veined knees are also attributable to both vicinities, although the two Maryland examples cited above feature separately carved knees and knee returns.
The combination of features from two different regions is not surprising given the movement of craftsmen and materials in Colonial America.