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Card table

Delaware, possibly Dover



29 1/2 in x 36 in x 17 in


Mahogany; oak (swing and stationary rear rails), hard pine (rear rail and glue blocks)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.

Accession Number



“MARY COWGILL 1791” is stamped into a brass plaque on the outside back of the fixed rear rail; “Property of my grand / -mother Mary Cowgill / Corbit and from the / Corbit House, Odessa / M.C. Warner” is written in ink, now faded, on a paper label attached to the inside of the rear rail.

Condition Notes

The brackets, secured by two sprigs in each, appear to be original.


The table descended from Mrs. William (Mary Cowgill) Corbit through Daniel Corbit to Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner.


The pierced rails of this remarkable card table signal creativity and ambition on the part of the maker as well as the buyer.  Although reminiscent of chinoiserie (i.e., in the Chinese taste), the particular pattern of these pierced rails has no specific source.  The legs exhibit a small detail that is also unusual, perhaps singular at this time. Double reeds have been cut into all of the outward-facing surfaces of the Marlborough legs, including the backs of the rear legs, a location typically left unworked since it usually faced a wall.  Later card tables with rare decoration in this locale include one by Thomas Stevenson or one of the McDowells of Smyrna or Dover, Delaware (acc. no. 2007.32) and an anonymous table (acc. no. 1971.588).  Given these potential ties and the reliable history of ownership, this card table may have come into the Corbit family through the 1791 marriage of Mary Cowgill of central Delaware with William Corbit.


Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 126-127.