Tea table

About 1740–60

Object Place: Probably Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 83


Overall: 63.5 x 65.4 x 65.4 cm (25 x 25 3/4 x 25 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Cherry, birch

Not On View




Tables, stands, screens

A small table with a tray top with an unusual profile composed of a tray molding within a tray molding. The hinged cross-frame folds flat, allowing the top to tip, making the table only 4 1/2 inches deep and 39 inches high when folded. (The ease of storage thus provided has led these tables to be called “tuckaways” in the literature.) The very thin cabriole legs have pointed knees and pad feet.

The top is made of two pieces, spliced together where the grain is a near match. The table shows screw holes where it was fastened in the cabinetmaker’s shop when being made. The original hinges have not been moved, though several nails have been replaced with modern screws. The two frames are zig-zag shaped and swing on an interleaved wooden hinge. The frames are made of two members each, the exposed one joined with an inset butterfly, and the other nailed from the sides. The splice in the top has been reglued. One leg is a replacement, probably put in place when the table was allowed to be copied in 1942.


The frame of the table is incised on the lower edge "M" or "W."


Found in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1927; acquired by Hollis French and lent to the Museum on May 31, 1928, until 1940; gift of Hollis French (Accession Date October 10, 1940)

Credit Line

Gift of Hollis French