Work Table

Work Table


Maple, brass hardware

Overall: 69.9 x 51.5 x 40 cm (27 1/2 x 20 1/4 x 15 3/4 in.)

Gift of Miss Elizabeth Bartol 1981.75



Needlework typically occupied several hours of a well-to-do woman's day. Worktables are compact, lightweight, and therefore portable. Casters permitted one to move the table around a room and to reposition it easily for sewing or writing. The top drawer of this example was designed to hold writing equipment and contains a writing tablet that could be placed at a convenient slant. The second drawer is divided into compartment for sewing equipment. Needlework was stored in a bag below, accessible by pulling its frame out of one of the table's shorter sides.

This simple, small table with its slender, tapered legs is decorated with painted landscapes almost certainly copied from engravings. From about 1800-1825 furniture decoration of this kind was taught in schools for proper young ladies of New England.

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