Attributed to the Eliphalet Chapin shop of East Windsor, this cherry wood dressing table is considered one of the masterpieces of Connecticut furniture. Every detail of its elaborate construction and design is meticulously executed. Decoration on the table includes an applied carving on the central lower drawer in the shape of the initials “AL,” embellished with trailing vines and finely carved leaves. “AL” is presumed to be the initials for Amasa Loomis (1737-1793) a widower from East Windsor, who married widow Priscilla Birge in 1783. Priscilla’s fifteen year-old son, Jonathan, might have been an apprentice in Chapin’s shop at the time, and his mother may have selected this elegant, personalized Chapin dressing table as a wedding gift.
The Connecticut Historical Society collection includes more than 400 pieces of Connecticut furniture, among them many other outstanding examples from the Chapin shop, one of the two earliest turned chairs known to have been made in America, and a chair once belonging to Governor John Winthrop, Jr.