Work Table

Unidentified maker, New England, possibly Boston, Massachusetts, American, 19th century


about 1805

Inlaid and figured birchwood and mahogany with silk (reproduction) work basket

Overall: 39 1/4 × 19 3/4 × 16 3/4 in. (99.7 × 50.2 × 42.5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Jerry Manne, Class of 1958



Place Made: United States, North America


19th century

Object Name

Furniture: Table

Research Area

Decorative Arts

Not on view


This elegant work table—or “pouch table”—was designed to store a woman’s needlework projects. The lower drawer provides access to the silk storage basket, and the top drawer is partitioned to hold sewing implements. The table’s octagonal shape, slender, tapered legs, and decorative veneer and banding epitomize the Federal style that took hold during the first three decades of the recently formed United States. This early phase of American Neoclassicism was inspired by British examples, which were, in turn, modeled after items unearthed during 18th-century excavations of ancient Greek and Roman sites. Note the decidedly patriotic inlaid eagle surrounded by stars at the center of the tabletop. Ironically, this decorative inlay was almost certainly made in England for a new, highly nationalistic American market.

From the 2019 exhibition American Art, Colonial to Modern, curated by Barbara J. MacAdam, Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art

Course History

HIST 9.1, Empires and Colonies in North America, Paul Musselwhite, Fall 2014

HIST 9.01, America: From Invasion to Independence, Paul Musselwhite, Fall 2019

HIST 5.14, Americas: Invasion to Independence, Paul Musselwhite and Ernesto Mercadeo-Montero, Fall 2022

Exhibition History

American Art, Colonial to Modern, Israel Sack Gallery and Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-September 12, 2021.

Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 8, 2008-present.

Publication History

American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, vol. 6 (Washington, D.C.: Highland House Publishers, Inc., 1979), p. 1622, no. P4699.


Descended in the Sears Family, Boston; Israel Sack Inc., New York; Lansdell K. Christie; Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc., New York, The Lansdell K. Christie Collection of Notable American Furniture, October 21, 1972, sale no. 3422, lot. 66; Israel Sack, Inc., New York; sold to Jerry Manne [Dartmouth Class of 1958], December 12, 1978; given to present collection, 2008

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