WOODS: walnut with yellow pine inner frame.
ATTRIBUTION: Although this table has no specific history, its construction suggests an eastern Virginia origin. The practice of screwing the top to cross braces dovetailed to the frame has been observed on Virginia tables from several areas. The form of the cabriole legs with bulbous pad feet and a distinct s-curve is also related to two early eastern Virginia dressing tables. An additional tie can be seen in the construction of the gate hinges which have segments that protrude through mortises of the frame.
Ron Hurst has recently proven that tables with this distinctive “split-knee” form were made in the Rappahannock River region of eastern Virginia. The name “Mr. Ashton” chalked on the undersite of the table probably refers to a member of the Ashton family that settled and lived in King George and Westmoreland counties, both located in the Rappahannock River region.
RELATED WORKS: One other “split-knee” table owned by Colonial Williamsburg descended in the Carter family of Richmond County. For more on this group, see Hurst and Prown, Southern Furniture, pp. 209-212.
INSCRIPTION: Chalked “Mr. Ashton” on underside of top.