With its exquisite veneered and inlaid surfaces, this table can be firmly placed among the most elegant and sophisticated examples of eighteenth-century New York card tables.
New Yorkers more than any other region preferred intricately veneered tops for their card tables. Looking to London pattern books for inspiration in design, highly skilled cabinetmakers were able to present their clients with the most contemporary forms. The maker of the table offered here may very well have been influenced by Thomas Malton's second edition of Complete Treatise on Perspective, (London, 1778) Plate XXXIV (fig.1). The top is divided by concentric bands of satinwood intersected by symmetrical rays of patterned string inlay. Reminiscent of a sundial, it adheres closely to Malton's design pattern. Furthermore, as indicated in the Malton design, these tables were meant to be seen from an upper perspective. They were frequently placed beneath a pier mirror, creating the illusion of a full circle.
The striated reserves and pendant bell-flower reserves on the legs as well as the swag-and-husk decoration on the apron are distinctive New York inlay patterns. A nearly identical card table (one less bell-flower) is in the Kaufman Collection (see Flanigan, the Kaufman Collection, fig.65, p.168)