Collections › MESDA Collection › Sideboard Table

Sideboard Table

Place Made:
Charleston South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
mahogany –cypress
__31 1/4″ __ __38 3/4″ __21 3/4″
Accession Number:
This table was probably made for the home of Arthur (1734-1774) and Mary (Hutson) Peronneau (1744-1799) who married in 1762. Though their home at the corner of Meeting and Atlantic Streets no longer survives, it was described by Harriot Horry Ravenel (1832-1912) as having been “a solid brick structure with a beautiful mahogany-paneled drawing room.” (Harriot Horry Ravenel, “Charleston, the Place and the People,” (1912), 319). It may be one of the “2 Mahogany Tables” valued at £17 in Arthur’s 1774 probate inventory. (Charleston Inventories 1774-1785, vol. 098, pg 55).

This table is one of a group of cabriole leg tables with ball and claw feet made in Charleston, South Carolina, during the middle of the 18th century. This particular example is extraordinarily well preserved. Though it was once thought to have had its rails narrowed and its top replaced, closer examination suggests that it remains in near-original condition. The center marks and the crossed layout lines to indicate the position of the talons and claws are still visible on the bottom of the feet. The claws on the talons also show little wear.

CONSTRUCTION: Mahogany veneers are applied to a mahogany frame. The rails are mortised and tenoned into the legs. These joints are covered by the mahogany veneers. The top is secured only with a series of cypress glue blocks.

WOODS: Mahogany top, legs, and frieze molding; mahogany veneers over cypress rails; cypress glue blocks, all by microanalysis.

RELATED OBJECTS: A marble top table with carved cabriole legs and claw and ball feet in MESDA’s collection may be from the same shop, or at least by the same carver, as this example (MESDA acc. 3163).

Probably made around the time of the marriage of Arthur Peronneau (1734-1774) and Mary Hutson (1744-1799) in 1762. Their marriage was reported in the South Carolina Gazette on June 19, 1762, ” Mr. Arthur Peronneau, merchant, was married to Miss Mary Hutson, a daughter of the late Rev. Mr. William Hutson.” It descended to their son William Peronneau (1768-1848) and his wife, Mary Sarah (Lightwood) Peronneau (1774-1847), who married in 1791. The table passed to their son, Edward Charles Peronneau (1806-1878) and his wife, Anna Smith (Coffin) Peronneau (1804-1868). It then went to their daughter Eliza Peronneau (1835-1923) who married William Raven Mathewes (1829-1905) and to their daughter Clelia Peronneau (Mathewes) McGowan (1865-1956), a noted educational and civic leader in early twentieth-century Charleston.
Credit Line:
Gift in memory of William M. and Kathryn K. Matthew, Charleston, South Carolina