Dressing table

Carving attributed to The "Garvan high chest carver" (active about 1750–1775)

Object Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Catalogue Raisonné

Eighteenth-Century American Arts No. 54


78.74 x 85.72 x 50.8 cm (31 x 33 3/4 x 20 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany, poplar and fir

On View

Amelia Peabody Gallery (Gallery 137)




Case furniture and boxes

This table features several methods of carving–three-dimensional shaping, appliqué, relief, and intaglio. The legs were sculpted in the round with shaving planes and rasps, before the claw-and-ball feet were formed with gouges and other tools. The knees of the legs, the skirt (bottom edge), and the central shell of the lower drawer were embellished with relief carving, in which wood was removed from the background to make the design protrude from the surface. The acanthus leaves surrounding the shell were applied to the surface, using small nails. At the center of the shell is intaglio carving, in which the design is cut into and removed from the wood.


Purchased from Joe Kindig for the "The M. & M. Karolik Collection of 18th century American Arts."

Credit Line

The M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts