Collections › MESDA Collection › Pembroke Table

Pembroke Table

Tarr, Levin S.
Place Made:
Baltimore, Maryland
Date Made:
mahogany, oak, poplar
HOA: 28 1/2″; LOA: 32 1/4″; DOA; 19 3/4″ closed; DOA 41 3/8″ open
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Oval-top pembroke table with a swelled frame; inlaid with band of alternating light and dark blocks and lines on the skirt; inlaid banding at cuffs; double scratch-bead and line inlay on the top.

MAKER: This and one other pier table in the collection of the Maryland Historical Society are the only known signed pieces by Baltimore cabinetmaker Levin S. Tarr (1772-1821). Born in Worcester County, Maryland, to Eli and Sophia Tarr, Levin began advertising as a cabinetmaker and venetian blind maker in the Baltimore newspapers by the late 1790s. On December 31, 1794, he married Rosetta Duplessis (1779-1825), who may be the Mrs. Tarr who advertised a needlework school for girls in 1819. The Tarrs are buried in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery.

INSCRIPTION: In white chalk on underside: “Made by/ Levin S. Tarr No. 28/light Street Baltimore/January 19–1806”

STYLE: This plain pembroke table signed by Levin S. Tarr provides a nice contrast to a nearly identical table in the MESDA Collection (Acc. #5993) that exhibits all of the ornament typically associated with Tarr’s shop, especially cross-banded ovals and rope-suspended, three-part bellflowers separated by dots on the legs.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund