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A Rare Japanned and Lacquered Worktable, probably Boston, c.1840

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This worktable has a lift top above a single drawer below a faux drawer. The upper case has canted corners, all of which is supported by robust reeded legs, which retain their original casters. The japanning reveals a pagoda, flowers, and butterflies. While many Japanned pieces have not survived because of their fragile nature, this casepiece has remained relatively intact, with no later additions and/or enhancements, which is often the case.

J. Micheal Flanigan points out, in American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, the vulnerability of these painted surfaces because of the raised decoration and also that only 40 pieces of Boston Japanned furniture are known. He shows the only known William and Mary Japanned dressing table in the group, but it should be pointed out that many of these pieces were Japanned later in the 19th century, (see scan below for the remarkable similarity).

Height: 29 3/4 in.  Width: 26 3/4 in.  Depth:  17 3/4 in.
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