RARE OVAL CARVED MAHOGANY LIBRARY TABLE

In the Manner of Isaac Vose & Son with Thomas Seymour (active 1819-1823)

Boston, c.1820

The fixed oval top with a shallow skirt on a paneled pylon shaped pillar with a molded and acanthus carved base resting on an abacus shaped plinth with spooling around the top edge raised on carved volute-form feet with recessed brass caster wheels.

H: 29”  L: 51”  W: 38 ¼”

Condition: Excellent; minor restoration to the bottom edge of the feet where they had sustained damage from the pivoting caster wheels. Casters have been raised one half inch to clear the foot to prevent further damage. Minor restoration to veneer on the skirt caused by natural shrinkage of the topThe top only has been re-polished with shellac in the manner of the period.  All other surfaces are old and have been waxed.

The table base is almost identical to that on a card table labeled (stenciled) by the makers Isaac Vose (1767-1823) and his son Isaac Vose, Jr. (1794-1872), in the collection of the Saint Louis Museum of Art.[1]

When Seymour began working as foreman for the Vose firm in 1819, he brought with him his own Regency influenced styles.  As Mussey explains in his landmark study  The Furniture Masterworks of John and Thomas Seymour (Salem, Peabody Essex Museum, 2002), after the death of Vose’s long-time partner and cabinetmaker Joshua Coates in 1819, it was necessary for Vose to bring in a cabinetmaker of equal stature.  The adoption of Seymour patterns, such as the design of these tables, demonstrates Seymour’s influence on the firm’s product.  Mussey states, “Attribution of much of the furniture from the Vose shop in this later period should probably be to Isaac Vose with Thomas Seymour.”[2]

A fresh and exciting discovery, the present example, is one of only three known oval library tables made in Boston in the period and easily the best.  If it is not by the Vose firm, it demonstrates that there were other equally skilled makers in Boston.

T-C-055101

[1] Wendy A. Cooper Classical Taste in America 1800-1840 (Baltimore Museum of Art, 1993), p. 134.

[2] Ibid, p. 75.