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.