Collections › MESDA Collection › Dressing Table

Dressing Table

Place Made:
Mercer County Kentucky United States of America
Date Made:
HOA: 28 3/4; WOA: 24″; DOA: 18 1/4″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Three-drawer dressing table with unmolded overhanging top; top edge is inlaid with stringing; outer drawers feature circle inlay, center drawer has rectangular stringing with quarter fans; arched apron with stringing that follows bottom edge of case and across stiles; tapering legs, chamfered on the front and inlaid with suspended tulips and diamonds; the table frame is constructed with mortise and tenon joints secured with exposed pegs.

GROUP: This dressing table is among ten known from this same shop. Three are recorded in the MESDA Object Database (S-3134, S-3203, and S-4393). The tables range in width from 22 3/4″ to 28 1/2″, with this example being the most diminutive. All feature an arc or cut out below the center drawer and have tapered legs chamfered on the front. The chamfered legs are inlaid with drops hanging flowers and in one case a heart. The drops are hung with either double arcs of string with a dot inside, a circle, or a possibly unique triangular shaped form having double arched cutouts below and a gothic arch above. This triangular form also appears on a group of chest of drawers which allowed consolidation of the tables and chests into a common shop group. Two of the chests were acquired by The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1931 (1931.1.30 and 1931.1.31), and both have been surveyed by MESDA (S-28535 and S-2606). A note in the Speed’s object files states that “This chest was made by James Mallory…He hewed the trees that made this furniture for his family;” however, no research to date has identified a James Mallory as a cabinetmaker.

Credit Line:
Loan courtesy of Mack and Sharon Cox