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Photo: Courtesy Northeast Auctions, Hampton and Portsmouth, N.H.
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Slant-front desk


Object number

RIF1041

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

107.95 x 102.235 x 57.15 cm (42 1/2 x 40 1/4 x 22 1/2 in.)

Date

1760–1780

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); cedar (interior drawer linings), chestnut (backing of drawer dividers, backboards); yellow poplar (exterior drawer sides); white pine (exterior drawer bottoms, vertical brace)

Inscriptions

"1" through "11" in chalk on the interior drawers in the interior back and side and front interior corners from top to bottom and left to right

Provenance

Varnum-Turner families, East Greenwich and Newport, Rhode Island. John S. Walton, Inc., 1973. Sotheby's, New York, January 17 and 19, 1997, lot 958. Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, August 5–7, 2005, lot 1472

Associated names

Varnum-Turner families
John S. Walton, Inc.
Sotheby's
Northeast Auctions

Construction

The two-piece horizontal backboards are nailed to rabbets in the case top and sides and to the back edge of the bottom board; the backboards are reinforced with a vertical brace nailed from the back. The lower prospect drawer has a drawer stop. Half-blind dovetails attach the drawer fronts to the drawer sides with half keys at the top and bottom; the kerf marks are long and coarse; the top edges of the drawer sides are rounded and are almost as high as the drawer fronts. The grain of the bottoms of the exterior drawers run from side to side; the bottom is chamfered on the front and sides and fits in the groove in the drawer front and is nailed to the other three sides; runners are added to the edges of the side. The brackets for the rear feet are angled on their inner faces; the sides of the rear feet extend beyond the back of the case; the joint of the bracket and the side of the rear foot had a vertical block originally. All the drawer supports are replaced along with the brasses, hinges, and keyhole escutcheons. The rear corner blocks supporting the ogee bracket feet are missing. Examined by Mia Taradash July 31, 2005.

Bibliography

"John S. Walton Antiques, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 103, no. 4 (April 1973): 596, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, Furniture, and Folk Art, sale cat. (January 17, 19, 1997), lot 738, ill.
Northeast Auctions, Hampton and Portsmouth, N.H., New Hampshire Weekend Americana Auction, sale cat. (August 5–7, 2005), 175, lot 1472, ill.