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Photo: Courtesy Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island, 1999.532
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Bureau table


Object number

RIF111

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

82.55 x 91.44 x 46.99 cm (32 1/2 x 36 x 18 1/2 in.)

Date

1760–1780

Current location

Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (drawer linings, glue blocks of upper drawer, backboards, guides for upper drawer, most drawer supports, and rear foot brackets); pine (top of cabinet, drawer divider backings, and proper-right support for proper-right upper small drawer); yellow poplar (cabinet sides and battens)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

Mathematical figures, in graphite, on exterior bottom of upper drawer; “3,” in chalk, on exterior bottom of proper-right lower drawer; “4,” in chalk, on exterior bottom of proper-left upper drawer; “5,” in chalk, on exterior bottom of proper-left middle drawer; “6,” in chalk, on exterior bottom of proper-left lower drawer; “I” through “XIIII,” in graphite, on interior edges of case sides between drawer dividers [top to bottom, proper-right to proper-left]; upward pointing arrow, in graphite, on exterior case back; illegible chalk on exterior surface of proper-left rear foot brackets

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Samuel F. Freeman, Philadelphia, June 8, 1971; sold to Doris Duke (1912–1993), Newport, Rhode Island; bequeathed to the Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island,1993

Associated names

Samuel F. Freeman and Company
Doris Duke

Construction

The rectangular single-board top has molded front and side edges, under which is a beaded cove molding attached with brads. The top?s back edge is square. It is secured to the case by rosehead nails through two longitudinal cleats, one at the back and one at the front of the case, which are dovetailed to the single-board case sides. Below the cleats are transverse strips, fixed to the case sides with rosehead nails, which prevent the upper drawer from tipping forward. Within the case is a transverse drawer support at the back, coplanar with drawer supports and the "roof" of the central cupboard section. The rear support is set into grooves in the case sides and the drawer supports are attached to the case sides with rosehead nails. Between the drawer supports are vertical drawer stops in the rear corners of the case, fixed to the sides with rosehead nails. The drawer dividers and top and bottom rails meet their stiles in half-blind dovetail joints of slightly varying configuration. Heavy cockbeading is applied to the case sides and drawer dividers with brads. The bottom of the central portion of the divider below the upper drawer is not cockbeaded. The convex-blocked portion of the two lower rails are separate pieces. The case back consists of two horizontal half-lapped boards, fixed with brads and rosehead nails to rabbets in the case sides. The back of the rear batten beneath the top is visible above the upper backboard. The upper drawer front is carved with a convex shell; flanking convex shell carvings are applied. It meets the drawer sides in dovetail joints, having large, finely cut pins of varying configurations, with half-pins above and below. The arched-top drawer sides have short scribe lines and their tops are slightly shy of the top of the prominently kerf-marked drawer front. The top-drawer bottom is a single board, parallel to the front, bearing prominent planing marks. It is chamfered at the front and sides; its connection with the drawer front is reinforced with large flat rectangular glue blocks. There are multiple nail holes near the connection between drawer bottom and drawer sides. Lateral shrinkage has caused the back of the drawer bottom to release its nailed connection with the drawer back; one rosehead nail remains. Small-drawer bottoms are similarly configured; they are slightly chamfered with prominent planing marks. In the recessed cupboard section are two fixed shelves, with half-round front edges, set into grooves in the intermediate case sides. The cupboard door is a single board, concave-blocked and shell-carved. The base molding is fixed with brads and wood-filled fasteners. The feet consist of shaped and mitered horizontal blocks attached directly to the case bottom, to which are fixed vertical blocks-some rectangular, some chamfered- the whole faced with ogee brackets. The rear feet consist of two stacked rectangular horizontal blocks above a vertical block, now missing, faced with an ogee side bracket and a straight-sided trapezoidal back bracket. Vertical blocks at the outside joint between the rear feet?s side and back brackets are missing. Examined by P.E. Kane and J.N. Johnson, March 27, 2014; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Dorothy Ellesin, "Antiques at Auction: Highlights of the 1970-1971 Season Across the Country," Antiques 100, no. 4 (October 1971): 533, 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), 313n6.