National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Table Table
Rendered by Louis Annino (artist), c. 1937
watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paperboard
overall: 29.1 x 22.6 cm (11 7/16 x 8 7/8 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Furniture from the Index of American Design
Object 8 of 26

At the end of the seventeenth century and in the early part of the eighteenth century, the newly affluent colonists created a demand for finely crafted furniture. American cabinetmakers responded through the use of richer woods and by modifying the earlier Jacobean forms in order to achieve the lighter, more graceful designs preferred by fashionable patrons. The taste of the well-to-do colonists and the products of American craftsmen reflected the influence of new fashions in English furniture design. English cabinetry began to take on some of the elegance of French styles as a result of the work of Continental craftsmen who came to England in the late seventeenth century. A style called William and Mary after the reigning English monarchs thus evolved in England after 1660 and was adopted by American cabinetmakers at the end of the century. Although Jacobean decorative techniques such as turning and carving were retained in furniture design, proportions were refined, curves and angles added, and structural members made slimmer. This pine and walnut table with a circular top and three finely turned legs splayed outward at a vigorous angle is a popular William and Mary form. The angle of the legs and the curve of the round table avoid the heaviness of the earlier Jacobean square forms. The bulbous uprights of Jacobean furniture have given way to slim and varied turnings. The total effect is one of lightness and refinement.

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