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).