Of immense size and stature, this gateleg table stands as one of the greatest and largest examples of its form made in Boston. Constructed with a turned walnut base and top measuring 65 ¼ in. when open, it survives in a remarkable condition retaining its original surface and brass hinges attached with rosehead nails. The profiles of the elaborate leg and stretcher turnings conform to a style regularly associated with early 18th century Boston turners. Further, the refined dovetailing of the original drawers and the double-pinned joinery are also more typical of urban craftsmanship.
Two other closely related Boston gateleg tables are known and collectively, these three tables likely represent the same shop tradition. One in the collection of the Wolfeboro Historical Society was owned by Royal Governor John Wentworth (1737-1820) at his estate in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire (see Brock Jobe, Portsmouth Furniture (Boston: Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, 1993): no. 53, p. 237). Made of costly mahogany, the Wentworth table is of a similar large size, with the top measuring 60 in. in diameter and a height of 29 ¼ in. It features virtually identical construction and design details, including a similarly complex pattern of baluster-and-ring turnings. The Wentworth table also survives in a fine state of preservation, retaining its original brass hinges secured with screws and rosehead nails. Another Boston gateleg table from this group is in the collection of Historic New England (see Brock Jobe and Myrna Kaye, New England Furniture: The Colonial Era (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984): no. 58, pp. 268-270). Made of walnut, it follows the same design, construction, and dimensions as this table and the Wentworth example. It is of identical height with a top measuring 64 5/8”. Refinished and with replaced hinges, it has a drawer that is dovetailed at the front and nailed at the back like the drawer of the Wentworth table rather than dovetailed at both ends as seen on the drawers of this example.
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