New England Card Table, ca. 1800
When we moved to Florida in 1977, we moved to a small town and there was a distant relative by marriage that lived there, and she was an elderly lady and needed some help once in a while, and we were happy to help her. She had a home filled with furniture that she had brought down from Massachusetts, and this table was one of them. When she had to go into a nursing home, my husband went down to help clean out the house and they offered to have him take something from the house for us to remember her by. And he brought home this table.
Well, how wonderful. Well, it is a Massachusetts design table probably made around 1800. But there was a cabinetmaker in Portsmouth by the name of Langley Boardman, and he had trained in Salem and moved to Portsmouth around 1800. And he made Federal period... This table is technically called Sheraton because of the turned and reeded leg. Do you know what kind of wood this table is?
I thought it was mahogany, but I'm not sure.
You're absolutely right, it's mahogany. And do you know what the veneer panels are made of?
Well, I've done a little research and I know it's called satinwood, but I don't know what satinwood comes from.
Well, that's very interesting because a lot of people call this satinwood, which is a wood that you find on English furniture. This is technically flame birch veneer. It came from the birch tree in New England, and very rarely would a cabinetmaker find this flame grain in a piece of birch. When he did, he would slice it in very thin slices of veneer to give this wonderful veneered apron in the contrasting light wood with the dark wood with the flame grain. One reason why I want to attribute the table to Portsmouth instead of Salem is because of this rectangular panel. Often, you find these panels in Portsmouth chests and they're called a dropped-panel chest. And a table like this would bring $15,000 to $20,000.
Oh, my goodness! I didn't realize that much. That's great.
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