Table (Board and Trestles)

1690–1720
Attributed to Benjamin Clark (1644–1724)


Object Place: Medfield, Massachusetts

Dimensions

66.52 x 62.86 x 275.59 cm (26 3/16 x 24 3/4 x 108 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

1980.446

Medium or Technique

Silver maple (acer saccarinum), white pine (pinus strobus)

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Tables, stands, screens

Trestle table with two board pine top. Channels cut on the undersides. Supported on two legs and a third half-trestle under the medial stretcher. Decorated with chamfers and lamb’s-tongue stops.


Clark may have made this table for his uncle Joseph Clark III, of Medfield. Originally, the board top rested on the supporting trestles, allowing it to be easily dismantled to make the home’s limited space more flexible. Although the trestle table was common in seventeenth-century homes, very few examples survive. The trestles are made with the same, mortise-and-tenon joinery used in most buildings (including the frame of the Manning House); in this way it resembles, on a small scale, period architecture.

Inscription

Incised on vertical posts and cross pieces at their juncture: "I" and "II" respectively.

Provenance

Descended in the Wight and Clark families of Medfield to Amos Clark Kingsbury, to his wife Blanche Kingsbury (d. 1987); purchased by the MFA from Roger Bacon Antiques,Exeter, New Hampshire (Accession Date December 10, 1980).

Credit Line

Frederick Brown Fund and Helen and Alice Colburn Fund