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Card table, one of pair

Origin: America, Massachusetts, Boston and Salem
OH: 30 1/2" OW:37 3/4"OD:17 1/2"
Mahogany with mahogany and figured birch veneer, maple stringing; white pine and cherry secondary woods.
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1971-382,1
Card table, one of a pair.
Appearance: Square top with elliptic front, figured maple banding with dark stringing on leading edges; mahogany veneered rails; figured birch panels with light/dark stringing on rails and leg posts; raised central panel and lower edge of the front rail have light/dark triangular stringing; reeded legs with ringed-drum capitols and attenuated bulbous feet.

Construction: Top screwed to the frame; brass side hinges; single rear leaf edge tenon; horizontally laminated (3-part) and veneered white pine front rail; veneered white pine side rails; white pine fixed rail with exposed dovetails behind fly-leg; cherry hinged rail with finger joint and plane fly-leg (apparently once nailed to the fixed rail on both tables); single vertical interior glue blocks at rear corners, double vertical blocks at front corners.
Label:Card playing proliferated at the beginning of the nineteenth century and generated the production of numerous pairs of specialized card tables. While many Americans participated in this refined pastime, some felt that it led to corruption and idleness. Mrs. Lyman of Northampton, Massachusetts, wrote in her diary in 1800, "As an amusement Cards may some times be admissible but when we become so attached to them as to think the hours tedious till evening arrives that we may be playing them I think they then become criminal."
Inscription(s):"S/ G...Agg" (S. Gragg?) in chalk in the rear rail of table 1971-382,2.