This table was included in the important study of Rhode Island gateleg tables conducted by Erik Gronning and Dennis Carr and published as “Early Rhode Island Turning” in American Furniture 2005, edited by Luke Beckerdite and published by the Chipstone Foundation. The gateleg tables in the study have turning designs inspired by architectural prototypes from contemporary Newport houses and collectively represent the work of a core group of craftsmen in Newport and surrounding towns. These craftsmen influenced other regional artisans, who incorporated elements of these turning designs into later furniture forms. This resulted in a school of turning in Rhode Island that was cohesive and persisted.
Gronning and Carr categorize the tables in their study into three groups, based on turning sequences and construction. This one is part of group 1, which consists of eight examples with complex turnings comprised of leg balusters with spherical bases with abrupt transitions to tall slender necks and two ring turnings at the top. The tables in the group exhibit construction that is consistent, with drawers supported on runners attached to the side rails, drawer fronts secured at each side with a single large dovetail, top boards pinned to the side rails, and gates that pivot from the same end of the table. These tables have hinges that do not extend under the sides of the frame, which eliminated the need to notch the side rails. For additional information on Rhode Island gateleg table see Erik Gronning and Dennis Carr, “Early Rhode Island Turning,” American Furniture 2005, ed. Luke Beckerdite. (Milwaukee, WI: The Chipstone Foundation, 2005), pp. 2-21 and Dennis Carr, “Early Furniture Making of the Narragansett Bay Region, 1636-1740,” Art & Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), pp. 9-33, 182-3.
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