Dressing table

About 1730–50

Object Place: Probably Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States


73.82 x 85.89 x 54.77 cm (29 1/16 x 33 13/16 x 21 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut veneer, pine

Not On View




Case furniture and boxes

Veneers are thin sheets of hand-sawn wood, roughly 1/8 to 1/16 inches thick. Veneers allowed furniture makers to economize by constructing the carcass of a piece out of such inexpensive woods as pine, then gluing attractive, (and more expensive) veneers of highly figured wood on the exterior. On the top of this table, four “flitches” (vertical sections of burl-walnut veneer) are arranged so that the swirling grain creates a flame-like effect.


Modern paper label with blue border on back: "Miss Prescott."
Modern paper label on back with printed number: "415"
Pencil inscription on inside lid: "Slight repairs made by / G.P. Fernald, Nov. 1916 / Portsmouth, NH / For Miss Josephine Prescott." In chalk: "Prescott., Middle Street, Portsmouth, N.H."
Illegible chalk marks on drawer.


Early history unknown; probably owned by a Miss Josephine Prescott of Middle Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1916, when it was repaired by a local woodworker named G.P. Fernald in November of that year; descended to the donors (Accession Date March 2, 1933).

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Josie F. Prescott and Miss Mary E. Prescott