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Pier Table, marble

1830-1845
Origin: America, New York, New York City
OH: 36 3/4"; OW: 43 5/16"; OD: 20 1/2"
Mahogany, white pine, marble, and glass
Gift of E. Charles and Cynthia Beyer in memory of Carrie Cole Lane Geddy
Acc. No. 2013-21
Marble top pier table; top of white marble with serpentine ends and front and canted front corners; mahogany veneered skirt with crossbanded edges corresponds to shape of marble and is supported at the front corners by two sawn serpentine legs with boldly carved border at juncture with skirt and across the rear with a solid back, the ends of which have shallow applied serpentine legs; center of the back has a square mahogany panel surrounding a circular mirror; a shelf with plain incurving sides and front skirt is attached to the back and ankles of the front legs; sawn scrolled feet finish the front and back legs; feet have appearance of assymetical bellflowers topped with upright flowers at junctution with shelf.
Label:According to family tradition, this pier table was originally owned by Williamsburg merchant Roscow Cole at his brick house on Duke of Gloucester Street near Market Square. The table descended through the Cole and Geddy families until the mid-20th century. Roscow Cole likely purchased this table from the New York furniture firm J. & J. W. Meeks around or slightly after 1830. Perhaps Cole was influenced by Meeks’ commission of nearly $900 worth of furniture for the newly redecorated Virginia governor’s mansion in Richmond in that year. While Williamsburg craftsmen had provided fine furniture to local and area patrons during the 18th century, after the Capital moved to Richmond in 1780 most cabinetmakers left for more prosperous locales. Local patrons turned to Norfolk, Richmond, and northern firms like the Meeks of New York for their finer furniture. Joseph Meeks and his sons capitalized on the southern market by advertising in southern papers and by opening a warehouse in New Orleans from which they could reach the prosperous markets of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

A pier table is traditionally located against the wall between two windows. The name derives from this structural wall, known as a pier. Often a looking glass (or pier glass) hangs above the table.
Provenance:According to family tradition, this pier table was first owned by Williamsburg merchant Roscow Cole and was presumably used in the brick house he built on Market Square circa 1812. The pier table descended through the family in another early Williamsburg residence, the Taliaferro-Cole House, to Carrie Cole Lane Geddy (Mrs. Vernon M. Geddy, Sr.). In 1970/71, Mrs. Geddy gave the table to the donor. A Windsor cradle in the CW collection (1995-2) has the same history.