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Decorative Arts and Design

Artists inventively created topographical images in a variety of media to celebrate both local and national pride. Here, an assemblage of scenic icons decorates a painted wood tabletop, offering a picturesque tour of major cities and rural vistas in orbit around an image of the national Capitol. The scenes were based on prints published in 1840 in the illustrated volume American Scenery.
CULTURE American
MEDIUM Cast iron, wood, and painted decoration
  • Possible Place Made: Troy, New York, United States
  • DATES ca. 1840–1855
    DIMENSIONS 28 3/8 x 28 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (72.1 x 72.1 x 72.1 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS no marks
    SIGNATURE no signature
    INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
    CREDIT LINE H. Randolph Lever Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Table, cast iron with painted polychrome decoration, circular top, vase-shaped acanthus pedestal, four ogee acanthus supports rise from pedestal to top, three scrolled acanthus legs with casters. Top painted with views of America in oval reliefs framed in gold and forming a circle. Views are: Albany; Harper's Ferry, VA; Tomb of Kosciusko; Mount Tom and the Connecticut River; Mount Vernon; and Faneuil Hall, Boston. Alternating with views are smaller oval reliefs framed in gilt depicting steam ships, classical temple, Indian hunting, Indian in canoe, and female allegorical figures of America. In center is a circular relief framed in gilt with view of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., Gilt filigree is surrounding views with black background. Gilt filigree along edge of top. The views are derived from engravings based on drawings by William H. Bartlett which illustrate "American Scenery," by N. P. Willis, Esq., published in 1840. Condition: Good and sturdy. Small chip of gilt missing from frame of capitol view. Minor restoration of sky in capitol view. Title of Mount Tom and the Connecticut River view retouched. Some restoration to shy in that view. Scratch beneath Mount Vernon view, chips in gilt along edge of top. Minor chips throughout top have been filled in. Some minor re-gilding. Paint crezzled throughout top. Pedestal, legs, and supports have been painted black, but gilding shows through in spots. See conservation report on file.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION American. Table, ca. 1840–1855. Cast iron, wood, and painted decoration, 28 3/8 x 28 3/8 x 28 3/8 in. (72.1 x 72.1 x 72.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, H. Randolph Lever Fund, 78.131. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 78.131_overall_PS20.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 78.131_overall_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2024
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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