Drop-leaf dining table

Maker: John Townsend (1732–1809)

Date: 1756

Geography: Made in Newport, Rhode Island, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Mahogany, maple

Dimensions: Open: 28 3/4 x 62 1/4 x 58 1/4 in. (73 x 158.1 x 148 cm)
Closed: 28 3/4 x 17 1/2 x 58 1/4 in. (73 x 44.5 x 148 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Gift of Stuart Holzer and Marc Holzer, in memory of their parents, Ann and Philip Holzer, 2012

Accession Number: 2012.442.1


John Townsend is the best-known and most accomplished of the great Newport cabinetmakers. Aware of his own exceptional talents, he made a habit of signing and dating, or labeling, his best works. This table, made when the craftsman was just twenty-four years old, is the earliest instance of such documentation. (It is signed and dated in pencil, in a bold and calligraphic hand, on the underside of the
top.) It is also the earliest datable example of the clawand-ball foot in Newport furniture.