Unknown artist, American, Philadelphia; Pennsylvania
Slab Table, 1765-1775
Mahogany, pine and marble
81.3 x 137.2 x 68 cm (32 x 54 x 26 3/4 inches)
Bequest of Mr. Charles L. Pendleton 04.008
Beautifully carved, this table exhibits the opulent rococo style fashionable in Philadelphia at the time of the American Revolution. As the largest American city in the late 1700s, Philadelphia was the center of both political ferment and the most up-to-date craftsmen connected to stylish European cities. An unknown master woodcarver completed the delicate acanthus-leaf ornament and the ball-and-claw feet on this pier table, while a skilled cabinetmaker completed the veneered frame. With careful unity of design, a stonecutter contributed the shaped purple, gray, and white marble top that aligns strikingly with the fiery grain of the serpentine-shaped mahogany skirt. This marble slab table was ideally suited to be a serving table because hot dishes and spilled liquids could do no harm to its stone surface.