Collections › MESDA Collection › Pembroke Table

Pembroke Table

Place Made:
Norfolk Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
mahogany –light wood inlay –putty
HOA: 28 1/2; WOA: 40; DOA: 31 1/8
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Pembroke Table with rectangular frame with curved ends; drop leaves supported by hinged brackets; square tapered legs; single drawer with curved front has a bail and rosette brass pull; inlaid star motif with several colors; top has light stringing and inlay; oval inlay around brass pull.

The inlay on this table relates to another Norfolk table (3639) in the MESDA collection, as does the dovetailing of the drawer construction and the leaf support. A second group varies as to dovetail construction and inlay but could well be from the same shop with a second workman.

This example differs from #3639 in having an oval patera with the eight-pointed “star” set into a rectangular string inlaid frame. The series of shaded, pointed ovals on the legs reminds us of an elaborate walnut example (S-1364) which we also believe to have been made in Norfolk. The eight-pointed star of the patera has a close similarity to the eight-pointed star of the William Little secretary with bookcase (Acc. No. 3264), again suggesting an adaptation by Little from his Norfolk sojourn.

This table descended in the family of Peter J. Holmes (1822-1879) and his wife, Mary Eleanor (Woodhouse) Holmes (1825-1909) of Elmsdale Plantation in Southampton County, Virginia, who were married on December 1, 1846 in Princess Anne County. Due to the Woodhouse family’s close proximity to Norfolk, its original owner was probably Mary Eleanor’s father, General Henry Barnes Woodhouse (1793-1879), a War of 1812 veteran and member of the Virginia legislature from Princess Anne County, or her grandfather, Major Jonathan Woodhouse (c.1750-1822).
Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund