Tea Table

A work made of mahogany.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of mahogany.

Date:

1750/90

Artist:

Artist unknown
American, 18th century
Philadelphia

About this artwork

In the 18th century, Americans delighted in the genteel art of tea drinking, which facilitated socializing based on strict rules of engagement. First introduced to New York in the 1740s, the tilt-top tea table, designed in the service of fashionable domestic tea parties, was a popular form in colonial Philadelphia and New York. The spindled “birdcage” mechanism allowed rotation, which provided the hostess with a measure of gentility by enabling her to spin the table so that she did not have to reach for anything; the table also flipped into a vertical position, permitting efficient storage against a wall. Illustrating the understated Quaker aesthetic present in late-18th-century Philadelphia, this tilt-top tea table was likely used in the parlor or drawing room of a middle- to upper-middle-class home.

On View

American Art, Gallery 166

Artist

Artist unknown

Title

Tea Table

Origin

United States

Date

1750–1790

Medium

Mahogany

Dimensions

73.7 × 86.4 × 88.9 cm (29 × 34 5/8 × 35 in.)

Credit Line

Roger and J. Peter McCormick Endowment; restricted gifts of Jamee J. and Marshall Field, and Carol W. Wardlaw

Reference Number

2009.58

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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