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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Clay, Daniel
Culture:American (1770-1848)
Title:card table
Date Made:1793-1794
Type:Furniture
Materials:wood: cherry, white pine; base metal: brass
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Greenfield
Measurements:overall: 27 3/4 x 36 x 16 1/2 in.; 70.485 x 91.44 x 41.91 cm
Accession Number:  HD 61.173
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Description:
Rectangular folding-top card table in cherry that was originally mahoganized, made by Daniel Clay (1770-1848). Born in New London, Conn., Clay probably trained in the Hartford area (or perhaps New York) with a cabinetmaker familiar with New York fashions; he moved to Greenfield, Massachusetts sometime before Nov. 1794, marrying Lucinda Smead in 1795. In 1794, he advertised in the "Greenfield Gazette" and had a paper label printed: "CABINET WORK/DANIEL CLAY,/AT HIS SHOP IN GREENFIELD, /MAKES all kinds of Cabinet and Shop Join-/ery Work, and constantly/ keeps an assortment on hand/ which he will sell on reasonable/ terms, for Cash, all kinds of/ Country Produce & Lumber,/ or approved Credit. Every/ favour will be duly acknowl-/edged, by their humble ser-/vant,/ Daniel Clay./ November 4, 1794." He also made Windsors and fancy chairs, pembroke and dressing tables, clock cases, candlestands, chests, and coffins. He expanded his business to include other ventures, but eventually all failed and he moved to NYC in 1832 to become a druggist. Since the bottom of the drawer is signed in ink by Clay rather than being labeled, this table probably predates the 1794 printed labels. The table has a plain folding top with rounded edges; over a plain skirt with a gadrooned edge (suggesting a New York influence) on three sides and chaneled ends, which match the chaneling on two sides on the four straight, square legs, which have chamfered inner sides. The rear leg is hinged and swings out to support the top table leaf when the table is open. There is a drawer behind the gate of the swinging leg, with a notch in the frame to clear the drawer's brass knob. The interior stretcher is white pine.

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