Nest of Tables

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Federal style, 1810-1840

After 1800, sets of small stacking tables became fashionable, as more tables were scattered about drawing rooms and parlors. Nests of tables were called “quartetto” tables and were illustrated by English designer Thomas Sheraton (Cabinet Dictionary, 1803, plate 75) and others. A variety of finishes were used for these tables, including veneering, paint, lacquer work, or papier mâché. Hampton’s collection has three surviving sets of nesting tables made in China and decorated with lacquer work. This set probably dates from the first decades of the 19th century and features rare red lacquer with gilded decoration highlighted in black and red.  It is possible that the red lacquer tables graced the Drawing Room as early as Charles Carnan Ridgely’s era.  Their presence there by the late nineteenth century is confirmed by several historic photos, in addition to the 1872 inventory of Charles Ridgely. 

Wood,  lacquer. 922: H 71.6, W 48.2, D 29.4 cm; 923: H 70.2, W 41.1, D 27.4 cm; 924: H 70.2, W 41.1, D 27.4 cm; 925: H 70.2, W 41.1, D 27.4 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 922-925