American Decorative Arts

Oval Table with Falling Leaves


Black walnut

29 5/8 x 43 1/2 x 36 1/4 in. (75.2 x 110.5 x 92.1 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
18th century
Made in Virginia, North America
By appointment

The surviving documentation for the acquisition of this table illuminates the procedures Garvan followed in his collecting. The table was advertised by the firm of H.C. Valentine and Company of Richmond, Virginia, in the February 1930 issue of Antiquarian. Immediately upon receiving his copy and seeing the illustration, Garvan had his secretary write to Valentine (January 29), asking to have the table sent to his loft on approval. Valentine did so on January 31, noting in the cover letter that "this table was purchased by us from a family here in Richmond . . . ." Once at the loft, the table was examined by Jacob Margolis, who prepared a detailed report on its condition. Margolis noted that the end of one leaf was pieced and that a later painted surface had been removed, although "the color is still there and the finish is not entirely spoiled." Garvan purchased the table on October 9, 1930 (Correspondence in H.C. Valentine and Company file, FPG-AAA). Gift in 1930 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


H. C. Valentine and Co. Antiques Advertisement,” Antiquarian 14 (February 1930): 22, ill.

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), 124–26, no. 44, 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.