Stylistically, the table’s elegant cyma-curve legs framed at the knees by carved C-scrolls with voluted terminals were part of the Rappanahock River Valley design vocabulary as discussed by Ron Hurst and seen on a dining table at Colonial Williamsburg (1991-161).
MAKER: This table has, at various times, been attributed to the shop of Benjamin Bucktrout in Williamsburg, Virginia, and to an unknown cabinet shop in Albemarle County, Virginia. However, research conducted by Robert Leath and summer institute student Emily Morris suggests that this table was made by William Walker, Jr., the son of architect and builder William Walker (c.1705-1750) and nephew of cabinetmaker Robert Walker (c.1710-1777). This attribution is based on stylistic, construction, and genealogical evidence.
WOODS: mahogany top and drawer fronts, cherry legs and frame, poplar secondary.
The table’s strange admixture of woods – mahogany for the top and drawer fronts, cherry for the side rails and legs – mirrors the mixing of woods seen on objects made in the shop of Robert Walker, like MESDA’s tea table with its mahogany top and cherry base. William Walker, Jr., orphaned at a young age, probably apprenticed in his uncle Robert’s shop.