Game Table

Attributed to Thomas Day

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 736

The lively form and whimsical curves of this game table are characteristic of the work of Thomas Day, a free Black cabinetmaker and architectural woodworker, who, by 1850, owned the largest cabinetmaking business in North Carolina. Furniture fashioned in Day’s workshop—which included free Black, White, and enslaved laborers—offered a distinctive, vernacular variation on the late classical forms produced in northern urban centers, such as those of Joseph Meeks in New York. Day adeptly navigated a complex political and social landscape. While creating furniture that appealed to a wealthy White clientele in the South, he also risked his life to covertly engage with abolitionist activity in the North.

Game Table, Attributed to Thomas Day (1801–1861), Cherry, mahogany veneer, mahogany, conifer (secondary wood), American

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