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Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's, New York
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Desk and bookcase

Object number



Maker Unknown


94 x 40 3/4 x 24 3/4 in. (238.76 x 103.51 x 62.87 cm)



Current location

Private collection


Made in Providence, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (drawer bottoms and some interior drawer sides); white pine (drawer sides, some interior drawer sides, backing for drawer dividers, and blocks for feet); yellow poplar (bottom of desk and bookcase, backboards desk and bookcase)




"Moses Ives" vertically in chalk on the backboard of the bookcase; "B" in chalk on the underside of the bottom board on the bookcase




Moses Brown Ives (1794–1857), Providence, Rhode Island; thence by descent in his family; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 18–21, 2018, lot 834

Associated names

Moses Brown Ives


The drawer bottoms are two tapered boards that run side to side and are fitted into rabets in the front and sides and are nailed to the underside of the back. glue blocks on the underside of the drawer reinforce the joints at the front and sides.The drawer supports are nailed to the case sides. The drawer dividers are dovetailed to the case sides and some of the drawer dividers are backed with wany boards. The bookcase back are three vertical boards lapped to one another. The boards are fitted to rabets in the case sides and top and rest on top of the bookcase bottom. The two horizontal backboards of the desk are lapped to one another and are nailed to rabets in the case sides and top and to the back of the desk bottom. Two horizontal boards back the pediment. The ogee bracket feet are glued to the case bottom as are the horizontal blocks for each foot; the vertical blocks rest on top of the horizontal blocks. The back of the rear feet are boards with a serpentine outline that fit in a slot in the sides of the rear feet. Examined by P. E. Kane, October 6, 2004


Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 18–21, 2018), vol. 2, pp. 96–97, lot 834, ill.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 243n1.