Night Table

Federal style, 1790-1810

A “necessary” piece of furniture as it was then called, the night table or commode was a fashionable small cupboard intended to hide a chamber pot and provide a seat. Several night tables of this sort with Baltimore provenance have survived. This is unusual given that their original function was out-dated by the introduction of indoor plumbing later in the 19th century. Most extant Baltimore night tables of the Federal era are based on plate 82 of Hepplewhite’s Guide (1788, 1794), and the Hampton example is no exception.

Mahogany, white pine. H 73.3, W  63.2, D 52.1 cm
Hampton National Historic Site, HAMP 2955