Mahogany veneer, white pine, yellow poplar, gilded gesso, vert antique, and gilded brass
31 1/8 x 36 x 17 3/4 in. (79.1 x 91.4 x 45.1 cm)
Gift of Justine VR. Milliken, 1995
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 728
This superlative card table is one of a pair in the Museum's collection documented to the workshop of New York's resident French ébéniste of the Federal period, Charles-Honoré Lannuier. The tables are remarkable not only for their exquisite beauty but also because they are signed and dated masterpieces descended in the family of their original owner, Stephen Van Rensselaer IV of Albany. Commissioned by the New York City merchant William Bayard, the table was part of a larger purchase that included a nearly identical pair of card tables and two pier tables with gilded swan supports, wedding gifts for his daughters Harriet and Maria, who in 1817 married Stephen Van Rensselaer IV and Duncan Pearsall Campbell. The invoice for the Campbell pieces survives, revealing how expensive furniture from Lannuier's Broad Street shop was. The pair of card tables was priced at $250 and the pier table at $300--astonishing sums at a time when a journeyman cabinetmaker's wage was only about a dollar a day.
Inscription: [on an unseen brace under top]: "Fait a New-York / Le I May 1817 / HL (conjoined)