American Black Walnut 27" H, 19" W, 19" D

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This pair of tables shows a process called "chip carving," a form of relief carving that involves a series of cuts with a special knife. The combinations of dimensions, angles and straight and slicing cuts can be varied endlessly, and the resulting designs can produce completely different looks. Chip carving is an excellent embellishment for furniture styles with simpler lines, such as Arts & Crafts, also known as Mission or Stickley.

These walnut tables have a Shaker influence, though the Shakers scorned embellishments such as chip carving. Furniture makers have always borrowed from earlier forms, and adapted the lines and details to the preferences of their clients or their own artistic sense.

The traditional detail on the tapered legs just under the drawer is called a "lamb's tongue." This S-curved shape gives a graceful end to the chamfers, the small planes created when the hard corners are removed from the legs.

The dovetail joints on the drawers were cut by hand.

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