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Pembroke or breakfast table

Delaware or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



Possibly Thomas Janvier (1772–1852)


29 in x 36 in x 21 in (open, 50 in)


Mahogany; cherry (flies), tulip poplar (drawer sides and table framing), white pine (drawer bottom)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation

Accession Number



“Wm. CORBIT HOUSE / ODESSA, DELAWARE 1772” is stamped into an aluminum tag attached to the right fly (table leaf support).

Condition Notes

The reproduction brass pull, which matches scarring from an original circular backplate, replaces a replacement wood pull.


The table descended from William Corbit to Sara Corbit Levis (1871–1952) a daughter to Mary Corbit Crowe (1897–1976), and then to her niece Sara Corbit Reese Pryor (1932–2019), from whom it was acquired in trade.


Leg turnings with shallow baluster (i.e., vase) turnings, large round rings below the reeding, and ball feet indicate fabrication in the 1810s.  The shaped table leaves, having serpentine corners at each end of a slightly bowed long side, also signals that time.  Although the table descended in the Corbit family, it may not have been owned initially by William Corbit, as family lore represented.  William owned a "mahogany breakfast table" valued at $6 when his estate was inventoried in 1818, but that description is too generic.

Neither the tabletop nor the drawer bottom has the several small (and redundant) glue blocks to secure those parts.  It might be a later Janvier table--Thomas Janvier is a possibility based on the presence of white pine drawer bottoms in a chest of drawers (acc. no. 1975.35), or it may have been made in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Delaware.  Wherever its origin, the maker made an error in its construction.  A diagonal brace is dovetailed into the frame immediately below the fixed top board.  Similar slots for such a brace exist along the bottom edge of the table frame and were filled with tulip poplar.  Neither this kind of bracing nor the mistake are characteristic of Janvier work, regardless of generation.


Sweeney, Grandeur, 117, pl. 14.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 140-141.