Neo-Classical Drop-Leaf Work Table with Lyre Ends, about 1828–29
Attributed to Rufus Pierce, Boston
Mahogany (secondary woods: mahogany, maple, and pine), with gilt-brass paw toe-caps and castors, drawer pulls, key-hole escutcheons, baize writing surface, and fabric on workbox
28 13/16 in. high, 19 1/2 in. wide, 20 1/8 in. deep (at the castors); 37 1/4 in. wide (with both leaves extended)
The attribution of this worktable to Rufus Pierce of Boston is based, in part, on the fact that it is virtually identical to a table bearing Pierce’s stenciled label, which was initially published by the firm of Israel Sack, Inc., New York, in their Opportunities in American Antiques (and republished in 1981 as American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection II, p. 380 no. 1349 illus.), and which was subsequently published by pioneer Boston Neo-Classical furniture scholar Page Talbott in her article titled “Boston Empire Furniture: Part II,” which appeared in The Magazine Antiques for May 1976 (pp. 1008 fig. 8 illus. stenciled label, 1010 fig. 10). The label reads: “rufus pierce, / Furniture / Ware-House / No. 17 Market St / boston.” Talbott assigned the table to the years 1828–29, because they are the only years in which Pierce was in business alone at that address. In the same article, Talbott published another table of the same form (p. 1011 fig. 11), which she gave to Pierce on the basis of the labelled example. Also in the same article, Talbott illustrated a “dressing glass,” or shaving mirror, which bears the same Boston stencil.