COLLECTION: Furniture

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Work table

1802-1810
Origin: America, New Jersey, New Brunswick
OH: 28 5/8"; OW: 19"; OD: 13 5/8"
Mahogany, white pine, tulip poplar
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1971-368
Appearance:
Work Table with flat top, coved inward at front; edge of top banded on upper and lower edges on all four sides with light wood inlay; straight sides and back, banded on lower edge with strips of light and dark inlay; front hollowed in to follow shape of top; two drawers of equal size veneered on face and banded by strip of light inlay; pair of brass knobs (not original) and brass bound keyhole escutcheon at center on each drawer; top drawer partitioned into four compartments of unequal size; bottom drawer plain except for attached label; original locks in both drawers; upward extension of all four legs inlaid with rectangular motif banded with light wood inlay; four tapering legs square in cross section, the outer two surfaces of each leg outlined with narrow band of lightwood inlay extending to floor.

Construction:
The sides and back are tenoned into the legs, which extend to the underside of the top. The rectangular top has a concave front edge and is secured to each side with three glue blocks and to the back with a single glue block and two screws from pockets in the back. The top rail is secured to the underside of the top from below with two screws and a single glue block. The drawer blade is tenoned into the front legs. Drawer supports are nailed with cut nails to the sides and drawer guides are glued to the sides directly above the drawer supports.

The top and legs are mahogany. Secondary wood for the case is white pine. The sides, back, leading edge of the top rail, drawer blade and edges of the table top are mahogany veneered. Light stringing runs around the top and bottom edges of the top, on the fronts of the legs and on the drawer fronts.

The drawers are of dovetail construction with white pine concave drawer fronts veneered on the front and top surfaces with mahogany. Drawer sides, backs and bottoms are of tulip poplar as are compartment dividers in the upper drawer. Dividers are set in dados in the front, sides and each other.

The upper drawer bottom is chamfered to fit in dados in the front and sides and is nailed with cut nails to the back from the underside. Under the drawer bottom, four glue blocks on each side are attached to the drawer sides. The rear glue block on each side is cut away at a 45 degree angle.

There are no dados in the lower drawer as it was originally constructed as a frame to hold a cloth bag. The bottom of the drawer is nailed with cut nails to the sides from the sides and further supported by lath nailed with cut nails to the sides underneath it. Nail holes on the lower drawer provide evidence that it was previously a frame for a cloth work bag.

Both drawers have iron locks and keyholes inlaid with brass. The two brass pulls on each drawer are replacements. Two glue blocks on the back of the upper drawer provide drawer stop; notches on the back of the lower drawer front engage the leading edge of the drawer support to provide a stop for the lower drawer.
Mark(s):Label of Matthew Egerton pasted inside bottom of lower drawer: "MATTHEW EGERTON, / CABINET MAKER, / IN BURNET STREET / NEW BRUNSWICK [N.J.]"
Label measures 3 3/4" x 1 7/8"
Inscription(s):The backs of the drawers are chalk marked “3” and “4” respectively, with corresponding chalk marks on the case back behind the drawers