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Gateleg Table

Place Made:
Princess Anne County Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
HOA: 30 1/8; WOA: 58 (open); DOA: 48 1/4
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Gateleg table with oval top; the frame supported by “sausage” turned legs and stretchers; the lower edge of the end frame boards are molded; heavy wear on lower stretchers; two legs and stretchers have block notches to allow the legs to swing and close in; trunnels throughout piece; ball feet, partially restored.

The gateleg table represents a seventeenth-century shift toward flexibility and portability in furniture, in contrast with the more ponderous and “fixed” nature of Renaissance pieces such as trestle tables. The butt joints of the table leaves – as opposed to a tongue and groove or rule joint – suggest an early date The turnings of the legs indicate an attempt to follow the more elaborate ball-and-ring turnings of English furniture.

This table was discovered by Frank Horton in Princess Anne County, Virginia, in the early 20th century. Now known as Virginia Beach, Princess Anne County was one of Virginia’s earliest settled coastal regions, beginning around 1610, and the county was formed in 1691. It is believed the table was made in that area.
Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund