Collections: Decorative Arts: Tray-Top Table

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Female Figure

Representations of female figures with highly abstracted forms occur throughout most of the Predynastic Period. On statuettes of this period...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.


Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


1997.150.16_PS6.jpg 1997.150.16_SL4.jpg

Tray-Top Table

The Portsmouth tray-top table was a common feature in elite British American sitting rooms, where Deborah Hall and her peers would have used it for the important social ritual of tea drinking. This is one of about a half-dozen known tables of this type made in Portsmouth in the late eighteenth century. Its delicate stretcher combines intersecting, curvilinear forms characteristic of eighteenth-century Rococo design with a large, elaborate, pointed Gothic Revival finial at the center.

La mesa con bandeja de Portsmouth era común en los salones de la élite de la América británica, donde Deborah Hall y sus pares la hubieran usado para el importante ritual social de beber té. Ésta es una de la media docena de mesas de este tipo conocidas hechas en Portsmouth a fines del siglo XVIII. Su delicado travesaño combina formas curvilíneas características del diseño Rococó del siglo XVIII que se intersectan con un elaborado remate Neogótico puntiagudo en el centro.

  • Attributed To: Robert Harrold, American, born England, 18th century
  • Medium: Mahogany and mahogany veneer
  • Place Made: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States
  • Dates: ca. 1770
  • Dimensions: 29 1/4 x 34 1/2 x 23 1/2in. (74.3 x 87.6 x 59.7cm)  (show scale)
  • Markings: Yellowed paper adhesive label with a red border declares the piece as property of Mr. M.S. Sloan. On the underside of the piece "456.R" is written in chalk. On the right side of the piece, inscribed in red paint are the numbers "14-1924-21".
  • Collections:Decorative Arts
  • Museum Location: This item is on view in Northeast Gallery
  • Exhibitions:
  • Accession Number: 1997.150.16
  • Credit Line: Matthew Scott Sloan Collection, Gift of Lidie Lane Sloan McBurney
  • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
  • Caption: Robert Harrold (American, born England, 18th century). Tray-Top Table, ca. 1770. Mahogany and mahogany veneer, 29 1/4 x 34 1/2 x 23 1/2in. (74.3 x 87.6 x 59.7cm). Brooklyn Museum, Matthew Scott Sloan Collection, Gift of Lidie Lane Sloan McBurney, 1997.150.16. Creative Commons-BY
  • Image: overall, 1997.150.16_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
  • Catalogue Description: 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.
  • Record Completeness: Best (86%)
advanced 109,677 records currently online.

Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

Please note, the Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. Please see our FAQ.

Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

Before you comment...

We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

Why are some objects not on view?

The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.