Table

1745–60, with later alterations
Carving attributed to John Welch (American, 1711–1789)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Catalogue Raisonné

Eighteenth-Century American Arts No. 50

Dimensions

Overall: 73.7 x 72.4 x 43.5 cm (29 x 28 1/2 x 17 1/8 in.)

Accession Number

41.586

Medium or Technique

Mahogany, pine, marble

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Tables, stands, screens

The only element of this table that is old or authentic may be the central leg. Exquisitely carved with a human face emerging out of foliage and C-scrolls and terminating in a bold, claw-and-ball foot, the leg has been attributed to Boston’s leading eighteenth-century carver. The leg may have been saved from a damaged piece of furniture, with a new table fashioned to exhibit and highlight it. Since figural carving is extremely rare in eighteenth-century Boston, this table remains important, if only for its one leg.

Provenance

Early history uncertain (possibly in the Fayerweather or Carpenter families); 1931, published in Antiques (September 1931) by Wallace Nutting (antiquarian) as "privately owned" with the story that Nutting discovered the piece in "an old home in Cambridge, where its known history dates back more than a century"; by 1939, owned by or on commission with Israel Sack (antiques dealer), New York, New York; 1939, purchased from Israel Sack by Maxim Karolik, Boston, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island; 1941, given by Karolik to the MFA as part of The M. and M. Karolik Collection of 18th century American Arts. Balch family. (?)

Credit Line

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