Chess table

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"An Image of Benjamin Franklin," Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Antiques Show, 1963.
Related Publications

."An Image of Benjamin Franklin," Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital Antiques Show, 1963. The catalogue does not contain detailed entries fr individual objects; however, the table is listed among objects in the Loan Exhibit, and visible in a photograph of the installation.

Gillespie, Mrs. E.D., A Book of Remembrance ( Philadelphia and London: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1901) Frontispiece illustration.

Henkels, Stan V. & Son, Relics of Benjamin Franklin and Family Papers, Estate of Ellen Duane Davis, Deceased... To Be Sold... June 16th, 1924...." Lot 10, illus.

The table is not designated by name in the inventory taken on Franklin's death. Tables are listed six times, usually as being mahogany. An entry in the "Chamber" cites "Chair & Table" and assigns a combined value of ₤3 to both. The value put on each other table alone is between ₤2 and ₤4, putting the pair of objects below the average.

The table descended to Franklin's granddaughter, Deborah, who married William Duane. It passed to their daughter, Elizabeth Duane, who married Gillespie, and was inherited by their daughter, Ellen Duane (Gillespie) Davis. Following Mrs. Davis' death it was sold, with many other family "relics," by the auctioneers Stan V. Henkels and Son, on June 16, 1924.

It was included in the Loan Exhibit of the Philadelphia Antiques Show in 1963, when it was owned by Mrs. Benjamin R. Hoffman. At that time, its woods were described as fruitwood and tulip; and it was thought to have been made in Philadelphia following Franklin's return from France.

The table may have been sold at auction following the death of Mrs. Hoffman (Margaret Clawson) in 1973. In the intervening years it may have lost its history. Efforts to locate it continue. Terms of Use Credits