PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF A VIRGINIA FAMILY
Superior for its crisp carving, delicate form, refined proportions, and amazing wood selection, this previously unrecorded games table relates to a group of tables identified as Type I, or "Van Rensselaer" type, games tables by Morrison Heckscher in "The New York Serpentine Card Table", Magazine Antiques, May 1973, 974-983.
With its deep serpentine skirt, bold gadrooning and foliate carving on all exposed side of the legs this table follows the typical construction of Type I tables noted by Heckscher. The table displays the additional distinguishing characteristics of foliate and asymmetrical C-scroll knee carving with punched and incised pinwheels, circles and parallel lines place it with in the Group B tables. Other Type I table construction characteristics found on this table include front and side skirts interiorly shaped to roughly follow the exterior contour and terminating flush with the inner corners of the front legs; gadrooned moldings nailed to the bottom of the front and side skirts.
Ten other examples of Type I, Group B tables are known. They are at the Museum of the City of New York, Bayou Bend Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Mabel Brady Garvan Collection, Yale University, as well as several in private collections.1 The maker for the group has been identified as Marinus Willett (1740-1830), who worked in partnership with his father-in-law Jonathan Pearsee from circa 1763 to 1775, on the basis of one table in the group inscribed with his signature.2
1 Jerry E. Patterson, The City Museum of New York: A History Illustrated from the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York, (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Pub., 1978), p. 58, no. 52, David B. Warren, Michael K. Brown, Elizabeth Ann Coleman, and Emily Ballew Neff, American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection, (Houston, TX: Princeton University Press for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1998), p.66-7, no. F114, David L. Barquist, American Tables and Looking Glasses in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), pp. 167-9, no. 74; Christopher Monkhouse and Thomas Michie, American Furniture in Pendleton House, Providence, 1986, no. 77, p. 139, Frank M. Levy, "A maker of New York card tables identified", Magazine Antiques, May 1993, 757, 760-1, pls. II an IV.
2 Frank M. Levy, "A maker of New York card tables identified", Magazine Antiques, May 1993, 756-63.
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