Sewing Table

Maker: James X. Smith (1806–1888)

Date: 1843

Geography: Made in New Lebanon, New York, United States

Culture: American, Shaker

Medium: Cherry, butternut, pine, basswood, sycamore, maple

Dimensions: 28 x 32 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. (71.1 x 82.6 x 59.7 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Friends of the American Wing Fund, 1966

Accession Number: 66.10.18


The thirty-two-inch measuring stick affixed to the front edge of the top is unusual, as is the narrow bead molding that outlines the six drawers and the frame members. Less obvious, because it is concealed within a drawer, is the stamp that identifies the maker and the year of manufacture. This is contrary to the printed Shaker Millennial Laws, which clearly stated that "No one should write or print his name on any article of manufacture, that others may hereafter know the work of his hands."