Bird’s-eye maple, mahogany with yellow poplar,
29 3/4 x 19 x 16 1/8 in. (75.6 x 48.3 x 41 cm)
Sansbury-Mills Fund, 1954
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 723
The lower drawer of this worktable, or sewing table, is a slide with a frame fitted with a silk bag for holding needlework. These small but often beautifully conceived tables were used in parlors, sitting rooms, and bedrooms. In the early nineteenth century, ornamental painting was part of the curriculum of girls’ schools, and the skill frequently extended to the decoration of light-wood tables and boxes. A New England schoolgirl probably executed this example’s painted decoration of classical draped figures, festooned leaves, and entwined vines.
Inscription: inscribed in pencil on outside of back rail of sewing bag drawer: Bequeathed, ante mortem, Dec. 25, 1894, by O. P. Ball [Bull?] to B. S. Baker. Witnesses: Mary [?] E. Draper Georgianna [?] M. Baker W. H. Draper J. F. Draper Approved. O. . . [?] P. Bell; painted on the back: [unidentified monogram]
L. V. Lockwood, Riverside, Connecticut, until 1954; with Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 1954