Worktable

1790–1810
Possibly by Thomas Seymour (American (born in England), 1771–1848)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 70.8 x 49.2 x 40 cm (27 7/8 x 19 3/8 x 15 3/4 in.)

Accession Number

1984.738

Medium or Technique

Mahogany, chestnut; secondary woods: maple, rosewood, mahogany veneer

On View

James and Darcy Marsh Gallery (Gallery 121D)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Tables, stands, screens

Tables such as this represent early efforts by American cabinetmakers to create furniture forms specifically for women. Although needlework was an essential skill and accomplishment for colonial women, specialized furniture to store sewing equipment was not produced until the late-eighteenth century. Prior to that time, women usually kept their work and tools in baskets or in pockets hidden beneath layers of petticoats. British designer Thomas Sheraton, whose work frequently was copied in the United States, defined these sewing or “pouch tables” as “Table with a Bag, used by Ladies to work at, in which bag they deposit their fancy needlework.”

Credit Line

Gift of Barbara P. Thompson