Combining bold three-dimensional carving with veneered and stencilled surfaces, the pier table offered here illustrates the superb craftsmanship of Anthony Quervelle (1789-1856) at the peak of his career. Born in France, Quervelle immigrated to America in 1817 where he soon became Philadelphia's leading cabinetmaker. Just as his compatriot Charles-Honor Lannuier introduced New York's elite to the latest in high-style French design, Quervelle furnished the homes of Philadelphians with his adaptions of the French Restauration and the English Regency styles. His success was acknowledged by prizes won at the exhibitions of mechanical arts at the Franklin Institute in the late 1820s and by a commission to supply the White House for President Jackson in 1829 (Smith, "The furniture of Anthony G. Quervelle: Part I: The pier tables," Antiques (May 1973), pp. 984-994).
The pier table offered here bears remarkable similarities to a number of surviving tables attributed to Quervelle. The distinctive grape and vine carving on the side of the scroll supports is seen on several pier tables including the pair of pier tables made for the White House (Smith, figs. 4, 5, pp. 985-987). Also indicative of his work are the stencilled designs on the cavetto molding under the top and on the edge of the shelf. Discarding the French preference for applied mounts, Quervelle substituted these features with more American-favored stencil-work (Smith, p. 985; for identical stencilled motifs on other tables, see figs. 1, 4, 8 and pl. 11). Quervelle used the same profile for the shelf on a number of tables and, as seen on the table offered here, sometimes adorned the central area with a half-circular band of stencilling that, when reflected in the mirror, created the illusion of a full circle.