Cumberland-Action Dining Table, about 1815–20
Attributed to Thomas Seymour (1771–1848), Boston
Mahogany (secondary woods: pine, poplar), with gilt brass toe-caps and castors
28 3/4 in. high,62 1/4 in. long, 60 in. wide; with leaves down, 17 in. wide, 62 1/4 in. long
The “Cumberland-action”designation assigned to tables of this form, may have been derived from a table of this type made in England for Henry Frederick, the Duke of Cumberland, or the son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and brother of George III. Tables of this form are essentially “drop-leaf” tables, which are extended by moving the supports to 45-degree angles at each of the four corners, then closed, with the leaves down, the tables are typically very narrow, only 17 inches wide, in the case of the present table, which could allow them to be broken down and stored against a wall when not in use. American tables of the “Cumberland” design were supplied with a variety of English toe-caps and castors, including paw toe-caps, square toe-caps, and reeded ones, in which the “reeds” of the toe-caps follow the reeding of the legs, as in the present example.