MAKER: The most likely maker of this table was William Jones (d. 1792), whose work appears to be part of Charleston’s German School. Jones is an enigma, although he probably worked in the shop of German Jacob Sass for a period. The furniture labeled or attributed to Jones is visually similar to the Post-Revolution German School, but his shop can be documented as operating for only five years from 1787 until his death in 1792. That said, where William Jones was born, exactly whom he apprenticed under, and how he fits into Charleston’s German community are worthy questions that merit answers. Although no documentary evidence exists that suggests Jones interacted with the German cabinetmakers while he was alive, after Jones’s death, Jacob Sass, the primary maker of Charleston’s Post-Revolution German school, was one of the appraisers of his estate.
One piece of documentary evidence does survive that connects the table’s original owner, John Cart, to William Jones, the cabinetmaker. A 1793 petition declares that John Cart owed the estate of William Jones for a bedstead, mattress, and two bolsters, thus bolstering the theory that Jones made the sideboard table. Obviously the two men had business dealings with one another.
GROUP: The brackets on this table are attributed to Henry Hainsdorff (d. 1796), a carver associated with the German School of Charleston cabinetmaking. The four-part spade feet are another feature commonly associated with the city’s German cabinetmakers.
WOODS: mahogany with red cedar top and white pine frame.