"The Fox and the Grapes" Dressing TableMade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Artist/maker unknown, American
Mahogany, yellow poplar, white cedar, yellow pine; brass
|Purchased with funds contributed by Leslie A. Miller and Richard B. Worley, Mrs. J. Maxwell Moran, Kathy and Ted Fernberger, Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest, Donna C. and Morris W. Stroud II, Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Booth, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Vogel III, Peggy Cooke, Lawrence H. Berger and Julie C. Berger, Mrs. J. Welles Henderson, Mr. Richard W. Snowden, and other generous individuals, gifts (by exchange) of Howard Reifsnyder, R. Wistar Harvey, and Charles C. Willis, and with funds from the proceeds of the sale of deaccessioned works of art|
LabelFor fashionable eighteenth-century Philadelphians, high chests and dressing tables represented the pinnacle of design, cabinetmaking, and carving in bedchamber furniture. This dressing table was conceived with a massive high chest of drawers (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1957-129-1). On its central drawer a composition borrowed from a 1761 publication by English carver Thomas Johnson depicts the moment of truth from Aesop’s well-known fable “The Fox and the Grapes”: a proud and skillful fox who cannot reach a bunch of succulent grapes decries them as sour and not desirable after all. The tale warns against the ills of greed and vanity, an ironic scene on this bold emblem of opulence.
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