Writing Table

Date: 1760–85

Geography: Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Mahogany, sweet gum, yellow pine, white cedar

Dimensions: 29 3/4 x 49 3/4 x 25 in. (75.6 x 126.4 x 63.5 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: The Sylmaris Collection, Gift of George Coe Graves, 1932

Accession Number: 32.125.1


This table has no known counterpart, writing tables being almost unheard of in eighteenth-century American furniture. However, it bears a number of features indicative of a Philadelphia origin: its secondary woods, its local family history, its Marlborough legs, and the origins of its design. The table combines details from a number of plates in the third edition of Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1762). Physical evidence indicates that, at the back, there was once an upper part, just as appears in some of the engraved sources.