Dressing table with looking glass

about 1809
Attributed to Thomas Seymour (American (born in England), 1771–1848), Probably by James Cogswell (American, 1780–1862), and Possibly John Seymour (American (born in England), 1738–1818), Carving attributed to Thomas Wightman (American, active 1802–1820), Gilder John Doggett (1780–1857)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Overall: 189.2 x 102.9 x 56.5 cm (74 1/2 x 40 1/2 x 22 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany, cross-birch veneers, curly satinwood, eastern white pine, oak, ash, and original brasses

On View

James and Darcy Marsh Gallery (Gallery 121D)




Case furniture and boxes

In the late eighteenth century, independent dressing glasses commonly were placed on tables or chests of drawers. The practice led to the evolution of a new form in bedroom furniture-the bureau with an attached mirror. This example is attributed to Boston cabinetmaker Thomas Seymour, who billed Elizabeth Derby West for “1 Elligant Dressing Table.” During this period, Seymour formed a successful partnership with other craftsmen in Boston, and this bureau may have resulted from the combined efforts of Seymour; his partner, James Cogswell; and possibly his father, John Seymour.


Owned originally in the Derby/West family of Salem, Massachusetts; descended in the family to the donor.

From R. Mussey catalog: This was owned by Elizabeth Derby West. It descended to her daughter Mrs. Elizabeth West Landers. Is was purchased at the sale of the furniture of Capt. Edward Landers of Oak Hill in Danvers, Massachusetts, by Nathaniel Leverett Rogers. It then went to Richard Edwards and ultimately to the the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Credit Line

Gift of Richard Edwards