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.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.