American Decorative Arts

Card Table


Mahogany, mahogany veneer, eastern white pine, yellow-poplar, black cherry

29 3/8 × 35 7/8 × 17 11/16 in. (74.6 × 91.2 × 44.9 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
Card tables made in various regions in the Federal period have many features in common. Most have a fixed leaf overlaid by a hinged leaf, supported by a frame with either four or five legs. Card tables made in New York, such as this one, have four fixed legs and a fifth that swings out to support the upper leaf when open. The contrast between light and dark inlays and the naturalistic and geometric ornaments make this a superior example.
18th century
Made in New York, New York
On view

Garvan may have acquired this table from Jacob Margolis. An early catalogue card listed its provenance as "Margolis? 1923" (card no. 732, box 27, FPG-AAA). The table was not included in Margolis' auction of that year, although he may have sold it privately to Garvan. Later catalogue cards for this table record that it was purchased at Margolis' November 5, 1926, sale at the American Art Association, but no table matching its description appears in the catalogue or in the list of twenty-one lots that Garvan acquired at that sale. This later version of the provenance probably was confused with that of cat. 104 (1930.2151). Gift in 1930 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Associates in Fine Arts, Yale University, “Handbook: A Description of the Gallery of Fine Arts and the Collections,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 5, nos. 1–3 (1931): 49, ill.

Benjamin Attmore Hewitt, Patricia E. Kane, and Gerald W. R. Ward, The Work of Many Hands: Card Tables in Federal America, 1790–1820, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 157–8, no. 37, ill.

Derek E. Ostergard, ed., Bent Wood and Metal Furniture: 1850–1946, exh. cat. (New York: American Federation of Arts, 1987), 17, fig. 1–29.

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), 68, 210–12, no. 108, pl. 30, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 93, 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.