This is one of about a half-dozen known tables of this type made in Portsmouth In the late eighteenth century. Often called China tables, they were used for the important social ritual of tea drinking. The elegant and refined design is indebted to Thomas Chippendale, and a related table appears in his wIdely known pattern book. The design Incorporates both Chinese influences (seen in the gallery around the top) and Gothic motifs (seen in the delicate arched stretchers).
Tea Table, tray top, mahogany and mahogany veneer, Chippendale style. Scallop-rimmed rectangular top and four legs joined by crossed arch stretchers with a pierced flame-shaped finial at the crossing. Undecorated apron of mahogany veneer with single bands of applied molding around the top and bottom. Pierced fretwork brackets support each leg at the top corner. The crossed stretchers themselves are made up of two opposing, molded C-scrolls. The outer sides of the rectangular legs are molded; the inner sides are chamfered along the edge. The four castors which are not original to the table have been removed. Condition: Good overall. There are cracks in the veneer on all sides of the apron. In addition, several small nicks and scratches are found over the entire piece, especially on top and bottom bands of molding on the apron. Two of the brackets, one on the left front side of the left leg and other on the left side of the left leg, have been broken and repaired.