PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ADELAIDE DE MENIL AND EDMUND CARPENTER
Tables made in the Harvard Shaker community are distinctly different in design from counterparts made in other Shaker communities. They are characterized by having unusually thin bases that are shaped with one continuous curve from the toe to the end of the horizontal cleat; a trestle assembly of vertical standards that are flat in cross section with shaped, rounded edges; vertical members that are thru-tenoned into the arched foot with pointed toe and tenoned into the cross member above; and standards supported by a bridle joint into a heavy understructure of a longitudinal stretcher with shaped cross cleats screwed into the top. Most required an additional metal or wooden brace added sometime after construction, to support the bridle joint which served to be inadequate.
A trestle table of this type appears in a photograph of a Harvard interior that is in the collection of the Fruitland Museums.2 It shows two women seated at a table of this type set for a meal with six place settings.
1 See Timothy Rieman and Jean Burks, The Encyclopedia of Shaker Furniture (Atglen, PA” Schiffer Publishing, 2003): p. 357, fig. 535.
2 see ibid.
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