Label

George Washington washed and shaved at this French neoclassical dressing table almost every morning for the last decade of his life. The mahogany top, fitted on its interior with a mirror, lifts up to reveal a marble subtop suitable for holding wet articles. Locked drawers below provide storage for grooming and bathing items. Washington acquired the dressing table in March 1790 from the departing French minister to the United States, the Comte de Moustier (1751-1817). After leaving the presidency, Washington shipped the table to Mount Vernon and placed it in his Study, where he spent several hours each morning attending to his private affairs.

Description

Louis XVI-style dressing table with a leather-covered dressing or writing slide and three flush drawers over a central arch or kneehole on four, cylindrical, tapered and fluted legs with spool turnings at top and brass feet on brass castors with mahogany wheels. Two flutes on fronts and sides of stiles. Top hinged at back opens to reveal a marble surface; a silvered glass is fitted on its interior, and spaces for a brass arm support are inset along its proper left side. Deep central drawer below is fitted with five compartments, the one at center front contains a removable box with shaped dividers covered by a lid with two leather handles. Central arch or kneehole framed by quarter-round brackets at front; single-board back is shaped along bottom. Stamped brass escutcheons on drawers.

Alternate names for this form include: shaving table.

Date

1787-1789


Geography


Material/Technique

Mahogany, mahogany veneers (primary), pine (lid and backing on writing slide), oak (drawer sides), possibly fir (corner blocks), marble, brass, silvered glass, leather, iron


Dimensions

Overall: 29 in. x 37 5/8 in. x 21 in. (73.66 cm x 95.57 cm x 53.34 cm)
Overall: 30 1/2 in. x 38 1/8 in. x 21 in. (77.47 cm x 96.84 cm x 53.34 cm)


Credit Line

Purchase, 1905
Conservation courtesy of Stanley N. Gaines


Object Number

W-202


Colors (Beta)


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