FORM: Making the transition from the gateleg table was the drop-leaf dining table, which employed hinged “flies,” as they were called, attached to two or more legs. The earliest examples, of which this is one, retained the oval top and the end drawer, both common to gateleg tables. (RAES)
DATE: This table has several features that date it early in the late baroque or Queen Anne period, such as the use of a tongue-and-groove joint at the leaves, the end drawer, and the drawer construction. The feet have an unusual “hock” at the back and are carved rather than lathe turned, again indicating an early date. (RAES, LB)
CONSTRUCTION: The drawer sides and back are made of oak (a wood used more often in earlier periods in the colonies), and they are secured with a single, large dovetail at each corner. Large wrought nails were used to attach the yellow pine drawer bottom which is simply nailed up into the sides, back, and front (the latter being rabbeted to receive the bottom). The carved pad feet, which have a large relieved area at the back, may have been derived from early examples with “colt” or hoof-feet. The table is unusual in having two flat braces that extend beyond the frame. These provide a swing mechanism for the gate frame which has trunnions doweled to the brace and top.
WOODS: walnut with oak medial braces, inner frame, and drawer frame; yellow pine drawer bottom.