The decoration on this Federal worktable was likely executed by a student training at one of the many women’s academies that flourished in New England following the American Revolution. The top drawer is fitted with compartments and a writing panel covered in green baize. The compartment below pulls out and was used for the storage of sewing implements and materials. The work table is a primary example of a form made for, decorated, and used by women.
Optimism in the new republic is reflected on the top, which shows the allegoric figure of Liberty holding twenty stars, representing the states. Her other hand embraces an eagle, who is clutching arrows and laurel branches. Above the banner the table is inscribed “E Pluribus Unum” and below “America.” The women who owned and used this table would have felt an added patriotic pride.