962: Important American Federal Pembroke Table
Important American Federal Inlaid Mahogany Pembroke Table, Attributed to William Whitehead, New York, Active 1792-1799, the oval drop-leaf top with line-inlaid stringing along the top and underside outer edges and with a string-inlaid inner border, the tapered legs featuring inlaid paterae above graduated inset bellflowers outlined by delicate interlocking line-inlaid figure-eight stringing, one end fitted with a drawer, the other end with a faux drawer, h. 28-1/2", w. 19-1/4", d. 31-3/4", ext. w. 40-1/4". Provenance: Descended through the family of Dr. Brace Whitman Paddock, Pittsboro, Massachusetts. A nearly identical table attributed to William Whitehead, sold at Christie's, New York Sale 2414, Lot 104, on January 21, 2012. Another almost identical example including the same brass ring pull is illustrated in the original 1950's publication, Fine Points of Furniture by Albert Sack, page 251. The "Fine Points" table is considered the "best" example and is described as the "acme of perfection of design in a bellflower inlaid table". For further discussion on two other Pembroke tables with related inlay, see American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, vol. 5, no. 29, pages 1386 and 4394, as well as pages 1254 through 1255 for a labeled Whitehead sideboard and companion knife boxes. Another labeled Whitehead sideboard exhibiting apparently identical bellflowers and very similar stringing to this table is illustrated in Antiques Magazine, September 1979, p. 553, and an attributed Whitehead sideboard is illustrated in American Furniture at Chipstone, p. 82-83. The Chipstone sideboard shares several construction features with the Paddock family pembroke table, namely all poplar secondary woods, a horizontally stacked laminated drawer front, and a drawer bottom of one piece which is chamfered on three sides and fit into a groove at the front and nailed in the rear.
In good overall condition. The top has minor dings and light stains consistent with age and use. The left rear leg has two petals of the inlaid paterae missing. There are scattered short sections of the outer inlaid edging of the top which appear to be professional old replacements. There is none of this stringing currently missing. Hinges are original. Some of the hinge screws are replaced. The brass pulls appear to be original. The finish is an old refinish.