William Turner Queen Anne Mahogany Slipper-Foot Tea Table
William Turner Queen Anne Mahogany Slipper-Foot Tea Table sold by Keno Auctions
Sale 1003 – New York
January 18, 2011
Keno Auctions Lot Notes –
The William Turner Queen Anne Mahogany Slipper-Foot Tea Table
Goddard-Townsend School, Newport, Rhode Island, circa 1750
Rectangular top with applied convex molding strips, applied convex apron flanked by shaped brackets, above cabriole legs, with peaked knees and terminating in pointed slipper feet.
h. 25 3/4 in., w. 31 in., d. 19 1/4 in.
Remarkably, the present table has descended directly in the William Turner family of Newport, Rhode Island. The following genealogical survey relates the line of descent of this object. Dr. William Turner (1712-1754), a resident of Newport, Rhode Island, and later of Newark, New Jersey, graduated from Harvard and worked as a physician and a surgeon. William married Mehitable Foster (b. 1715), and they had four children: Lydia (1746-), William (1748-1755), Daniel (1750-1837), and Peter (1751-1822). Family tradition relates the present table as descending through the family lines of Daniel and Peter. Captain Daniel Turner (1750-1837) was active in the Continental Army on 1776 to 1881. Daniel married Sarah Foster (1754-1809), a first cousin, and they had ten children, including William (1775-1837). Captain Daniel Foster died in Newport, Rhode Island in 1837. Dr. Peter Turner (1751-1822) graduated from Princeton and was a Surgeon in the Continental Army on Washington's staff (1776-1781). Peter married Eliza Turner, a first cousin, and they had nine children, including Mehitable Foster (1780-1853). Following the Revolutionary War, the Dr. Peter Turner family moved to East Greenwich, Rhode Island, where Peter died in 1822. Notably, Peter was brother-in-law to General James Varnum, and a friend of Lafayette. Dr. William Turner (1775-1837), son of Captain Daniel, graduated from Princeton and was admitted to the full practice of medicine when only 19 years old. On August 31, 1799, President John Adams appointed him a Surgeon in the United States Navy. William married Mehitable Foster (1780-1853), a first cousin and daughter of Dr. Peter, and they had nine children, including Peter (1803-1871). Peter had a long and distinguished career in the Navy, and traveled extensively over his 48 years of service. President James Monroe appointed him a Midshipman in the United States Navy on March 4, 1823. Peter became Commander in 1862 and was stationed at Philadelphia Naval Asylum where he remained until his death having achieved the rank of Commodore. Commodore Peter Turner married Sarah Stafford Jones (1826-1875) and they had five children, including Hettie Foster (1850-1937). Hettie Foster Turner married Henry Harlan, and they had three children including James Turner (1850-1937), through which the present table has descended to the Turner Family Trust
Sold on behalf of the Trust by Leigh Keno American Antiques.
A Northern New England Collection
Rectangular tea tables of this type were extremely popular in mid-18th century Newport and they are quite consistent in design and construction. Executed with a single-board top, the upper edge is beaded and laps over the skirt. The bottom of this board is rabbited to fit into the skirt frame. A heavy convex molding is applied to the perimeter. This rim is almost always of the same pattern - with a broad convex inner edge and beaded top edge with a rounded exterior. The skirts on all known examples have a convex applied skirt molding. On most tables, including the present example, the knee brackets are separate pieces of wood affixed to the bottom of the molding and the adjoining leg.
The table that most closely echoes this table in its proportion, condition, and exquisite provenance is the Robinson Family tea table which was purchased by Leigh Keno American Antiques at Christie's (lot 550) in January of 2005 for $352,000. The present example is among the very best to survive. It is distinguished by its dense mahogany original finish and bold tray molding. However, the cabriole legs which are square in section from projecting knee to slender ankle and their curve continues unbroken from the peaked knee to the tip of the long graceful pointed slipper foot. There is a very pronounced, yet delicate, curve to the back of the leg that tapers and sweeps to the base of the heel. This elegant feature further defines the ankle profile, distinguishing the example above most of its counterparts.
Tables in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art , Pendleton House , and the Newport Historical Society share similar design and construction details.Additionally, two related Newport tea tables, one at Bayou Bend and the other in a private collection., share a similar stylistic vocabulary with the present table.
Estimated price: $70,000 - $120,000
Price realized: $170,800
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