Colonial Revival Coffee Table
In the early twentieth century, modern living was perfectly compatible with old-fashioned styles. Some Colonial Revival housewares were copied directly from eighteenth-century American examples. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City retailed the silver chocolate pot seen here, a replica of an early Boston original in its collection. Similarly, John Gaar, a traditional craftsman who worked in Milwaukee duplicated an eighteenth-century design to make the walnut side chair for his family home. On the other hand, silversmith Arthur Stone selectively blended elements of colonial forms to create his up-to-date bowl and coffee pot. The coffee table at the center of this display was manufactured by the Imperial Furniture Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which lay claim to having made and sold the very first coffee tables. Despite its distinctly twentieth-century form, the Imperial table combines old and new. Its thin molded legs and crossed stretchers, American cherry wood, and handled tray-top all evoke earlier furniture.