The present example was made with a finely figured piecrust mahogany top comprised of eight repeat passages, a fluted compressed ball standard, and a tripod base with C-scroll and acanthus-carved knees gracefully descending to powerful claw feet. The distinctive knee carving with its cartouche of opposing C-scrolls flanked by acanthus leaves recalls patterns of carving found on the knees of tea tables attributed to the “Garvan carver,” a talented and prolific carver who worked in Philadelphia during the mid-eighteenth century and consistently repeated design motifs amongst his oeuvre. One table with this motif descended in the McMichael-Tilghman family of Philadelphia and was likely originally owned by John Baynton, a prominent merchant in Philadelphia. It sold in these rooms, The Acme of Perfection Tea Table, January 19, 2008, lot 168. Another with a history in the Fisher-Fox family sold at Christie’s, Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Prints, October 3, 2007, sale 1882, lot 94. A third example was formerly in the collection of Stratford Hall and sold at Christie’s, Highly Important American Furniture: Property Deaccessioned from Stratford Hall Plantation, December 4, 2003, sale 1334, lot 3. A fourth tea table with this knee carving is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.2 Another is in the Karolik Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.3 The tables in this group also display similarly articulated claw and ball feet with pronounced angular talons. A tea table with the same overall form was formerly in the collection of Hermann Clarke of Boston, Massachusetts and later in the collection of Charles K. Davis.4
1 Morrison Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, p. 193.
2 Accession 18.110.12.
3 Accession 39.146.
4 See Israel Sack Inc., American Antiques from Israel Sack Colleciton, Volume V, P4354, pp. 1326-7.
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