The multipurpose card table was ubiquitous in the federal period. Within the design confines of having a top that unfolded to an essentially square or circular surface, the table frame and conforming top assumed myriad shapes and decorative configurations. This example combines basic rectangular designs with a range of decorative and construction attributes that reveal much about its manufacture.
Multipurpose Card Table
26 in. x 36.25 in x 33.6 in.
Mahogany, lightwood stringing, banding, and inlay; oak (drawerfront, drawer blades, and rear rail), white cedar (drawer bottoms, inside rear rail), tulip poplar (drawer sides)
The card table was refinished within the last twenty years or so. At that time, finish was applied to the rear swing leg rails, inside of the drawerfront, and other places that historically were not finished. Minor sections of stringing and the banded cuff of the proper left front leg are replacements. Brasses are replacements; impressions in the drawerfront indicate previous brasses had slightly smaller oval backplates.