Federal Mahogany Cake Board by John Conger

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Large Federal mahogany cake board featuring a floral decorated urn with birds flanked by a gentleman and lady and over opposing cornucopia.  Stamped by the maker three times, “J.Conger” for John Conger (ca.1803-1869) of New York City, New York, 1820 – 1845.  Mahogany.

Height – 15 1/8”; width – 26”

Tell me more: This finely carved cake board is stamped three times, “J. Conger”, once on the proper left end and twice on the proper right end, for the maker John Conger (ca.1803-1869) of New York City, New York.  It was created between 1820 and 1845 and is closely related to an example in the Winterthur Museum collection, illustrated in The Magazine Antiques, December 1990, “Cake Boards” by Louise C. Belden, Plate IX, page 1249.  According to the author:  “The careful craftsman John Conger, who stamped his name on a number of cake boards, is listed in New York City directories beginning in 1827.  Until 1835 he moved almost yearly within the Bowery, then spent eight years on Marion Street and, beginning in 1848, stayed thirteen years on Bank Street.  Such long periods at a single address suggests a certain prosperity.  In the 1834/35 directory he is listed as a baker, and from 1836/37 until his death in 1869, he was variously a carver, print cutter, or simply a cutter.  This could mean that he also cut wood blocks for prints, but only his carved cake boards are known today.”