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Card Table

Place Made:
Edenton North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
mahogany –walnut –red oak
HOA: 26 7/8; WOA: 30 3/4; DOA: 31 1/8
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Rectangular card table: Has cabriole legs, carved knees, and claw and ball feet; folding top is hinged with outset corners opening to display square candle turrets and oval wells above a deeply valanced apron; one of a pair (other is Acc. 5818).

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 pair of card tables was made for Robert Jones (1718-1766) and his wife, Sarah (Cobb) Jones, of “The Castle” in Northampton County, North Carolina. Born in Virginia and educated at Eton, Jones moved to Northampton County about 1750. He was a member of the Colonial Assembly, an agent for Lord Granville, and in 1756 was appointed the colony’s attorney general. Jones probably commissioned the pair of card tables during his frequent business trips to the colonial capitol in Edenton.

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).

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Douglas III