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Photo: Courtesy Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc.; photo by Christopher Gardner
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Desk and bookcase


Object number

RIF581

Maker

Maker Ichabod Cole, 1748 - 1841

Dimensions

233.681 x 101.6 x 58.42 cm (92 x 40 x 23 in.)

Date

1790

Current location

Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc.

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (drawer linings and backboards); yellow poplar (drawer supports); and white pine (pediment roof, interior desk drawer divisions, bottom board, and blocks)

Marks

"Maid by / Ichabod / Cole / 1790," in graphite, on interior bottom of one interior drawer

Inscriptions

“i” through “iii,” incised, on interior fronts and backs of outermost tiers of interior drawers, from bottom to top; “i” to “iiii,” incised, on interior fronts and backs of prospect drawers, from bottom to top; “\ I” through “\ III,” with slashes pointing out, incised, on top edges near the front of drawer sides on outermost tiers of interior drawers, from bottom to top, and “\ I” through “\ IIII,” with slashes pointing out, incised on top edges near front of drawer sides of prospect drawers, from bottom to top; “i” and “ii,” incised on interior fronts and backs of drawers flanking the prospect door and “\ I” and “\ II,” with slashes pointing out, incised on their top edges; “I,” in chalk, on interior sides of exterior drawers; “V,” incised pointing out on proper-left top edges of exterior drawer sides of top and two bottom drawers; “\ I” though “\ VI” with slashes pointing out, incised, on top edges of sides of valance drawers

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Found in a house in Seekonk, Massachusetts; sold to John Walton, Inc., Griswold and Jewett City, Connecticut, 1982; sold to John Warner Kluge (died 2010), Charlottesville, Virginia, about 1984; consigned to Christie's, New York, December 16, 2005, lot 235; sold to Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York

Associated names

John Walton, Inc.
John Warner Kluge

Construction

BOOKCASE: The bonnet of the bookcase section is roofed with thin boards. The side cornice moldings are one-piece. The backboards on the bookcase are vertical, half-lapped together and are nailed to rabbets in the sides and to the back edge of the bottom board and to the back edge of the top board, which is not visible from the back. A separate horizontal board encloses the back of the scrolled pediment and is attached with rosehead nails. Each bookcase door is fastened to the case sides with two brass hinges; the hinges use three screws on each side. Half-blind dovetails attach the bookcase shelves to the case sides. The bottom board of the bookcase is flush with the top of the desk. DESK INTERIOR: The battens on the slant lid have open tenons; three hinges attach the slant lid to the writing surface. The vertical dividers flanking the prospect have beaded edges. Half-blind dovetails attach the drawer fronts to the drawer sides with a half pin at the top and a half tail at the bottom. The grain of the drawer bottoms runs from side to side and the bottoms are glued to rabbets in the drawer sides; the kerf marks are average. The top edges of the drawer sides are rounded and the top edges of the drawer backs are square. Rectangular blocks glued to the drawer backs act as stops. The grain on the bottom of the valance drawers runs from front to back; the bottoms fit in a v-shaped groove in the drawer fronts and are glued to the other three sides. Half-blind dovetails fasten the fronts of the valance drawers to the sides with half pins at the top and bottom. The top edges of the sides are square. DESK CASE Half-blind dovetails fasten the desk top and two-piece bottom to the two-piece case sides; half-blind dovetails fasten the drawer dividers to the case sides as well as the top rail; the bottom rail fits in a groove in the case side. The joint of the bottom rail and the case bottom is reinforced with three long blocks below the lowest drawer. The three horizontal backboards are half-lapped to one another and are nailed to rabbets in the case sides and top and to the back edge of the bottom board with rosehead nails. The muntins flanking the lopers are dovetailed to the rail above and the drawer divider below; the lopers are full height and their front edges have quarter round moldings. The drawer supports are nailed to the case sides. Half-blind dovetails fasten the drawer fronts to the drawer sides with half pins are the top and bottom. The grain of the two-piece drawer bottoms runs from side to side; the bottoms are chamfered to fit in grooves in the front and sides and were nailed to the underside of the back with rosehead nails (now missing); the kerf marks are long. Vertical mill sawn marks are visible on the undersides of the drawers. The top edges of the drawer sides are rounded and are slightly lower than the drawer fronts; the top edges of the drawer backs are square. The base moldings are nailed to the front and sides of the cases with four brads across the front and three brads on each side. The feet are reinforced with vertical glue blocks that rest against the case and horizontal blocks that abut them; the blocks are shaped to conform to the ogee shape of the feet. The brackets on the rear feet are angled on their inner faces and fit in slots cut in the sides of the rear feet. Examined by P. E. Kane, 2006.

See also


Bibliography

"John S. Walton Antiques, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 980, ill.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 306-307, fig. 8.2, 8.2a-b.
"Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 169, no. 1 (January 2006): 1.
Patricia E. Kane, "Ichabod Cole: A Recently Discovered Rhode Island Furniture Maker," Antiques 172, no. 5 (May 2007): 112–14, fig. 4, 4a, 5.
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), 369–371, no. 79, fig. 1–2.