Choosing a design for this table has been tougher than I thought. The form was easy, but the general look has been harder to decide. In the end I might change it again. Here’s what I think it will look like:
You’ll never find a piece that looks like this exactly. It will be a “Baltimore inspired piece” – not a reproduction you’ll find in a museum. I’m not sure about the thistles at the top of the legs yet. I’m also thinking about shells which are a common form. That might also allow me to use a modified shell on the top near the hinges. I don’t have to decide yet, but I like to have a plan. The image of the eagle is from Greene’s book on 18th Century furniture – the image quality isn’t great but I think it’s a nice looking bird.
My wife asked why an eagle. It’s a patriotism thing really. This furniture came about during the post-Revolutionary era and reflected the new nation’s pride. Eagles are found with some frequency in these pieces. It’s not because I’m an Eagle Scout. I didn’t even get my woodworking merit badge that I can recall.
I’ve been practicing my marquetry skills a bit. I have a little ways to go but I’m getting to the point where they might be useful.
I finally got my hands on a great book, The Work of Many Hands: Card Tables in Federal America 1790-1820. It gets really into the weeds on all the details of these things. Very interesting book if you want to read about the form. If you aren’t interested it would be good for insomnia. If you want to buy me a copy (I got this one on inter-library loan) you can find it used online for north of $300.
Now I just need some 20″ wide Mahogany….