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Card table (one of a pair)

Sussex or Kent County, Delaware



30 in x 35 1/2 in x 17 3/4 in (width of table .2 is 34 3/4 in)


Mahogany, lightwood inlays; oak (swing rail), hard pine (frame)

Credit Line

On loan from Winterthur, gift of Mrs. Prospere Shelton (Lillian Sudler) Virden

Accession Number


Condition Notes

Sections of some inlays have been replaced.


According to the one-hundred-year-old donor, Mrs. Prospere Shelton (Lillian Sudler) Virden (1894–2001), the tables were made for her grandfather Dr. John Ralston Sudler (1797–1871) of Bridgeville, Delaware.


This pair of serpentine front card tables with inset quarter-round corners, called “sash” in the period, are fully decorated with stringing and banding, which create geometric compositions on the table frame.  The tables are ambitious and distinctive, especially given their history of ownership in southern Delaware.  Two properties suggest they were made there  First, their decoration does not relate to a known school, although a Philadelphia or Baltimore card table at the DAR Museum (acc. no. 64.289) looks quite similar). Second, the pair of card tables embody several anomalies that suggest the maker was not generally familiar with such ornate work.  There are mistakes of omission in stringing between the two tables, one table is almost an inch wider than the other, and the rectilinear outlines of the tops are not true.


Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 153-154.