FORM: This fashionable card table, like its mate, has a fitted top for candles and game counters.
CARVER: The pair of tables share the same distinctive carving as MESDA’s armchair (Acc. 2418) and writing table (Acc. 3273). The same carver has also been credited with MESDA’s Edenton staircase.
WOODS: Mahogany with red oak inner frame; walnut gate frame.
The tables descended to his eldest son Willie Jones (1741-1802), who was a leading political figure during North Carolina’s Federal period and one of the state’s largest planters with nearly 10,000 acres and 120 slaves. Willie then bequeathed a life interest in “all the looking glasses fixed & not fixed, the walnut chairs, mahogany & walnut Tables, Desks & Book Cases & Beaufats which belong to my Halifax House together with the side Boards” to his wife, Mary (Montfort) Jones (1760-1826), and then to his eldest son, Willie W. Jones (1784-1838) and his heirs. The 1825 estate inventory for Mrs. Jones listed “3 card tables,” while that of her son, who died unmarried and without children, listed “2 Card Tables” in the downstairs chamber and an additional card table in the “old room up Stairs” at The Grove, outside of Halifax.
After Willie W. Jones’s death, the pair of card tables was separated. One table (MESDA Acc. 2720) descended in the family of his sister Martha, who married United States Senator John Wayles Eppes (1773-1823) of Virginia, while the other table (MESDA Acc. 5818) descended in the family of his sister Sarah, who married North Carolina Governor Hutchins Gordon Burton (1774-1836). MESDA’s card table then descended to Mrs. Eppes’s daughter, Sarah Ann, who married Dr. Edmund Wilcox Hubard (1806-1878) of Saratoga Plantation in Buckingham County, Virginia, and it was sold at a 1930 estate sale at Saratoga. In 2016, after more than 180 years of separation, the two tables were reunited thanks to a generous loan from Sarah (Jones) Burton’s descendants.
RELATED OBJECTS: MESDA also owns a dressing glass that belonged to Mary (Montfort) Jones (MESDA Acc. 2539.2) and a portrait of her mother, Priscilla (Hill) Montfort (1734-1780) (MESDA Acc. 2539.1).