Collections › MESDA Collection › Sideboard Table

Sideboard Table

Artist/Maker:
Jones, William __Attributed to
Place Made:
Charleston South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
1787-1792
Medium:
mahogany, red cedar, white pine
Dimensions:
HOA: 33; WOA: 44; DOA: 23
Accession Number:
1139
Description:
DESCRIPTION: Neoclassical rectangular serving table: A mahogany top on a red cedar frame with wide strips of vertical mahogany veneer covering the top edges; a heavy molding snugs-up to the top; the front and side aprons also are veneered; the front apron is decorated with string inlay that creates rectangular panels with lunetted corners, and with oval fan-like medallions at the top of each leg; the base of the apron has a triple band of light and dark inlay; the table is supported by four tapering legs terminating in spade feet, the spade formed by separate pieces glued onto the main leg post, string inlay forms shaped panels down the legs on the face side; carved support brackets at front.

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.

History:
This sideboard table descended in the Cart family. On January 15, 1785, approximately the time the table was made, John Cart (1761-1848) married Susannah Rumph (1767-1824), a member of Charleston’s German community. Cart served in the Revolutionary War with the German cabinetmaker Jacob Sass, and Sass was a witness to Cart’s pension application, stating that they had known each other since the war. The table descended in the Cart family to William Porter Cart. A posthumous portrait by Charleston artist Thomas Coram of two of John and Susannah Cart’s children, Christopher (d. 1800) and Susan (d. 1801) is part of the MESDA Collection (Acc. 2672).
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift