Like most period furniture enthusiast, I rarely get the opportunity to examine quality antiques “up close and personal.” A few times I have been asked to repair high-style period pieces, but I have always had to decline due to the fact that I’m colorblind.
When a customer approached me to repair his circa 1810 card table, I thought I’d have to say no. It turned out, however, to only be a matter of gluing the table back together – well within my capabilities.
He told me the table attribution was to Levin S. Tarr. The only piece of Tarr-attributed furniture of which I could find a photo is in the collection at Colonial Williamsburg.
The table I was to work on shares few, if any, construction or ornamentation details with the Williamsburg table, making its attribution open to question.
Also, the shape, ornamentation and species of woods suggest a more northerly origin, perhaps New York/New Jersey. Regardless of the region, it is beautifully proportioned, has appealing inlay bandings, nicely articulated inlaid columns, pleasing veneer work and features some interesting construction details. Despite all these seemingly complex details it would make an excellent first foray into building Federal-period furniture.
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