Eighteenth-century households used breakfast tables for a variety of activities, from serving breakfast, tea and other light repasts to sewing, reading, and writing. Their small and compact design made them convenient and easy to store. Family tradition maintains that George Washington presented this table to the famed artist and entrepreneur, Charles Willson Peale.
Oval-top breakfast or pembroke table on four, straight, square, and tapered legs supported by crossed stretchers; one drawer; three-board top; each leaf meets the center board in a rule joint and is secured with two iron butt hinges; overhanging center board glued and screwed to frame; rectangular frame with bowed and laminated end rail, bowed drawer rail, and straight, double-railed sides, the outer side rails are divided into three sections: the left-hand section is glued and nailed to the inner rail and is attached to the center section or fly rail with a five-finger hinge, the right-hand section is also glued and nailed to the inner rail; end rail veneered with figured mahogany, a rectangular splice of veneer is also glued to the ends of the side rails; drawer front edged in a single-string light-wood inlay; plain crossed stretchers are half-lapped at center; legs are chamfered on interior corner; drawer front with one reproduction post-and-bail brass handle at center.
Mahogany (top, legs, stretchers, veneer), yellow poplar (outer side rails), white pine (inner side rails, end rail, glue blocks, drawer runners, drawer front and back), light wood (inlay)
Overall (open): 27 3/8 in. x 39 in. x 30 7/8 in. (69.53 cm x 99.06 cm x 78.42 cm)
Overall (closed): 27 3/8 in. x 19 1/2 in. x 30 7/8 in. (69.53 cm x 49.53 cm x 78.42 cm)
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