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American Decorative Arts

Pier Serving Table


Mahogany; sylvestris pine (inner rails, glue blocks)

31 5/8 × 41 15/16 × 21 1/2 in. (80.3 × 106.5 × 54.6 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
Made in England
Not on view
18th century

Two different but equally distinguished histories of ownership have been recorded for this table. In the late nineteenth century, it was in the collection of Dr. William H. Crim of Baltimore, Maryland; it was sold at the auction of Crim's estate in 1903 (Crim 1903, no. 1074; illustrated facing pp. 2, 78). According to the auction catalogue, the table originally belonged to Roger Brooke Taney (1777-1864) of Maryland, who served as Secretary of the Treasury, United States Attorney General, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Taney was born too late to have been the table's original owner, although he may have inherited it. In 1929, R.T.H. Halsey purchased the table on Garvan's behalf in Annapolis, Maryland, for exhibition in the Hammond-Harwood House. Halsey reported that the table's original owner was Dr. Upton Scott (1722-1814) of Annapolis (Halsey to Garvan, May 3, 1929, Halsey file, FPG-AAA; "Purchased in Annapolis by RT Halsey for Harwood House," manuscript list, Hammond-Harwood Loan file, Box 14, FPG-AAA). A pair of side chairs purportedly owned by Scott, acquired by Halsey at the same time, is also in the Art gallery's collection (Kane 1976, no. 145); Garvan's catalogue card states, "These chairs were purchased from the heirs of Upton Scott, uncle of Francis Scott Key. They had always been in the Upton Scott House" (FPG-Y). If Halsey purchased the table from the same Scott descendants as the chairs, they could not have owned it prior to the Crim sale in 1903. Moreover, none of this furniture was in the Upton Scott house in 1929, as it was apparently unfurnished (photograph album, Hammond-Harwood Loan file, Box 14, FPG-AAA). Gift in 1930 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


O. A. Kirkland, Baltimore, Catalogue of the Celebrated Dr. William H. Crim Collection of Genuine Antiques, sale cat. (April 22, 1903).

Edgar G. Miller, American Antique Furniture: A Book for Amateurs, 2 vols. (Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Press, 1937), vol. 2, pp. 753–54, no. 1427.

Christopher P. Monkhouse and Thomas S. Michie, American Furniture in Pendleton House (Providence: Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 1986), 27–28.

David L. Barquist, Elisabeth Donaghy Garrett, and Gerald W. R. Ward, American Tables and Looking Glasses in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 366–67, no. A2, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.