Happy Birthday John Townsend!! The American cabinetmaker was born in 1733 and from the New England seaport Newport, Rhode Island. John Townsend was a member of the well-known Townsend cabinetmakers and along with the Goddard family led the colonial trade. He is one of the few to sign and date his furniture pieces. His designs include block and shell fronts, claw and ball feet, and absolutely beautiful mahogany. He has been called a compulsive perfectionist because of his meticulous attention to detail. The card table, here, is purple mahogany, with ball and claw feet, signed and dated 1762.