National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Gateleg Table Gateleg Table
Rendered by Amos C. Brinton (artist), 1939
watercolor and gouache over graphite
overall: 34.3 x 51.1 cm (13 1/2 x 20 1/8 in.) Original IAD Object: 69" wide; 60" deep; 20 3/4" high
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Furniture from the Index of American Design
Object 7 of 26

In colonial days, gateleg dropleaf tables were popular because they saved space. American gateleg tables followed early seventeenth-century English prototypes. They always had two swinging legs to support the hinged dropleaf ends, yet the shape of the tabletop varied. This table has an oval top, but square, round, and rectangular tops were also common. The wood used for this example is walnut, a finer wood than the oak that was predominant earlier. In the use of walnut, this table can be considered a departure from the traditions of the Jacobian style—it heralds the approach of the William and Mary style in eighteenth-century America. The Index data sheet indicates that the piece belonged to a family in Lewes, Delaware, and that it dates from about 1680, but it may have been made slightly later.

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