Federal Styled Game Table
Joseph Mendel / Joseph Mendel Furniture Maker
I was drawn to the use of veneer and inlay motifs which emerged in the Federal style of the eighteenth century. In particular, the works of the cabinetmaking families of Goddard and Townsend of the Newport, Rhode Island, area really struck a chord. This furniture style is highlighted by the inclusion of shaded veneers, parquetry, inlaid banding, the use of crotch cut veneers, cross banding, quadrant fans, and line and berry geometric inlays. Empowering the natural chatoyance and light refracting properties of various cuts of veneer enhanced the dynamic grain patterns used to specify the game boards boundaries and design layout. The Chinese checkers game board included color fast dyed veneer so the playing area matches the marbles required to play the game. The Parcheesi game board is made from 610 segments. All the veneer segments on the game boards were glued onto a medium density fiberboard. The table itself utilized flitched veneers to incorporate the four ovals of matching crotch mahogany outlined with holly stringing, placed in a field of cross banded ribbon mahogany. The top surface has all four sides with matching grain patterns outlined by rectangular boxes of holly stringing. Sand shading of the holly veneer made the bookend inlays look three dimensional. The four black and white quadrant fans identified the front drawer from the other three sides. The ebony corner frames filled with Louis XIV parquetry cubes of Swiss pear wood, sepele, and mahogany veneer added depth and the playfulness to the piece.
“The project showed creative execution and an abundance of detail.” - Karen Koenig