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Tray-Top Table

Decorative Arts

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.
MEDIUM Mahogany and mahogany veneer
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 not on view
CREDIT LINE Matthew Scott Sloan Collection, Gift of Lidie Lane Sloan McBurney
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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
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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.
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