Rooms created specifically for dining became more widespread in post-Revolutionary America. They required new, specialized forms of furniture, including the sideboard. This graceful, serpentine-front sideboard is one of two that George Washington purchased from John Aitken in Philadelphia in February 1797 for his dining room, or "New Room," at Mount Vernon. With its clean, straight lines and flat surfaces decorated with delicate inlays, it exemplifies the sophisticated lightness and restrained elegance of the Federal or neoclassical style. When not being used for serving food during meals, it held linens and other dining equipage, and provided display space for knife boxes, ceramic figurines (or "images").

See M-2479 for a similar, non-Washington sideboard also attributed to John Aitken. More






Mahogany, mahogany veneer, light and dark wood inlays (primary), mahogany (cabinet doors, bottle drawer front and sides), white pine (back, divider between drawer and center section), possibly tulip poplar (center top drawer sides and bottom), unidentified softwood (case bottom)


Overall: 37 5/8 in. x 71 1/8 in. x 26 11/16 in. (95.57 cm x 180.66 cm x 67.79 cm)


Gift of George Washington Custis Lee, 1908

Object Number



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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