Marble Top Sideboard Table
From tree to finished table, the work of a cabinet shop represents the labor of the shop master as well as the hidden hands of his journeymen, apprentices, and sometimes enslaved craftsmen. In total, MESDA has identified more enslaved craftsmen working in wood-trades than any other. In Virginia in 1724 Hugh Jones wrote that slaves “are taught to be sawyers, carpenters, smiths, coopers, etc.” Anthony Hay was one Williamsburg cabinetmaker who made use of enslaved craftsmen in his shop. At the sale of his estate in 1771 there were advertised, “Nineteen Negroes… among them a very good Cabinet Maker.”
Learn more about this object in MESDA’s online collection catalog.