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Family tradition holds that Martha Washington presented this tilt-top tea table to her granddaughter, Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis, who is said to have used it in her room at Mount Vernon. Treasured as a token of a grandmother's love for her granddaughter, it was brought to Woodlawn Plantation, a neighboring estate presented by George Washington as a wedding present for Nelly and her husband, Lawrence Lewis. The table spent the following hundred years in the Lewis family, eventually returning to Mount Vernon in 1973.


Circular tilt-top table on an incised baluster-and-spool-turned shaft set upon three cabriole legs that terminate in ridged snake feet on pads. The top connects to the birdcage or box by two projecting pintles that are set into two shaped cleats with ogee ends, screwed to its underside. The birdcage or box features four turned balusters between two plain square blocks. The birdcage or box is locked in place by a removable wooden key inserted into a cutout on the top of the shaft. Legs with single scallops on their undersides are blind dovetailed into the pillar which has a single scallop between the legs; no metal brace. A shaped brass catch is screwed to the underside of the top.





Black walnut (primary and secondary)


Overall (H x W x D): 30 in. x 31 3/8 in. x 31 in. (76.2 cm x 79.69 cm x 78.74 cm)
Overall (H x W x D, vertical top): 46 1/4 in. x 31 3/8 in. x 23 1/4 in. (117.48 cm x 79.69 cm x 59.06 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Herbert P. Fales, 1973

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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