COLLECTION: Furniture

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Work Table

1820-1840
Origin: England
Overall: 28 7/8 x 19 13/16 x 15 7/8in.
Mahogany, mahogany veneer, deal, holly (possibly), bone, and silk
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Clark, Sr.
Acc. No. 2011-108
Work table with rectangular hinged top with canted corners and incurving front conforming to sides of table below; skirt of table sandwiched between top and projecting bottom veneer around base; round wooden keyhole escutcheon in center of front; turned pedestal with foliate carved baluster and ring elements supported by base with flat turned elements around bottom of pedestal and three scrolled legs; interior of table divided into ten lidded compartments and two open L shaped compartments around center lidded compartment with removable wooden thread winders; middle lid has mirror on underside; center lid along front has pincushion on underside.
Label:Work tables oftened contained drawers, bags, and compartments for a woman to keep her sewing and needlework supplies and current work. This elegant English example includes small compartments, including one with an integral pincushion, and bobbins for winding thread.
Provenance:According to the donor, this example is one of a pair (the mate did not come to CW) that were brought to Pennsylvania by the donor's grandmother Helena Embly Waller (b. ca. 1888) in the late 19th century from Oldham, England. A Helena Waller is listed on the 1920 census for Philadelphia as being a storekeeper and owning her own store. Her husband David Waller was a weaver at a cloth mill, and her mother Carrie Embly lived with them. Helena emigrated from England in 1895 and became a naturalized US citizen in 1907.