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Lady's dressing table

Object Name: Dressing table
Date: 1795-1810
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Medium: Mahogany with white pine and yellow poplar; glass, gilding, leather, brass
Dimensions: Overall: 65 1/4 x 47 x 22 in. ( 165.7 x 119.4 x 55.9 cm )
Place made, probably: North America, United States, New York
Description: Mahogany Federal style lady's cabinet dressing table; upper section consists of an oval mirror over two drawers, and backboard decorated with swag inlay, and flanked by two cabinets with frieze of swag inlay and ogee-shaped domes surmounted by carved and gilded urns; cabinet doors have inset oval mirror on interior sides with banks of drawers below pigeon holes. Lower section consists of cabinet with square top and ovolo corners; conforming case with slide with inset leather writing surface above center drawer with interior boxes and circular cut-out for basin, and is flanked on each side by two corner drawers with quarter round fronts, and three cabinets with tambour doors. Case supported on six tapered legs with ogee-topped stringing; brass oval and circular mounts with bail and pendant ring handles. Fragments of black fabric and tack holes on underside edge of case suggest use of a drapery skirt.
Credit Line: Gift of Goodhue Livingston
Object Number: INV.14982
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Inscribed: Written on lower right hand drawer: "Livingston"

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The design of this lady's cabinet dressing table is modeled closely on Plate 49 of Thomas Sheraton's "Cabinet Maker's and Upholsterer's Drawing Book" (London, 1793). In describing the furniture form, Sheraton noted that it "contains every requisite for a lady to dress at. . . . " The dressing table may have been made as a wedding present for Margaret Maria Livingston (1783-1818), the daughter of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston.