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Photo: Courtesy The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Va., 1930-206
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Slant-front desk


Object number

RIF163

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

42 x 41 1/2 x 21 in. (106.68 x 105.41 x 53.34 cm)

Date

1760–1790

Current location

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia

Geography

Made in Rhode Island, or possibly made in southeastern Massachusetts
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Mahogany (primary); white pine (backboards and interior drawer linings); chestnut (blocks), beech or sycamore (proper right rear foot); yellow poplar (bottom board)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

Numbers, in chalk, on back of large drawers; Roman numerals, incised, inside each drawer front.

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Louis Guerineau Myers (1874–1932), East Orange, New Jersey; given to Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia, 1930

Associated names

Louis Guerineau Myers

Construction

Half-blind dovetails fasten the top to the case sides with a half pin at the front, a half pin at the rear, and six full dovetails in between them. The tenons are not exposed on the ends of the battens on the slant lid. The three horizontal backboards are nailed to rabbets in the top and sides and to the back edge of the bottom board. The top rail and the drawer dividers are dovetailed to the one-piece case sides; the bottom rail is let into a groove in the sides. On the exterior drawers the grain of the bottom runs from side to side; the undersides are chamfered at the front and sides. The bottoms are let into a groove in the front and are nailed to the other three sides; running strips are added to the sides near the edges. Half-blind dovetails fasten the drawer front to the sides with a half pin at the top and bottom; the top edges of the sides are rounded and are slightly lower than the drawer front; the top edge of the drawer back is flat with a slight chamfer on the back edge. The bottom board is dovetailed to the case sides. The feet are reinforced with vertical blocks that rest against the case bottom; horizontal blocks abut them. The rear brackets on the back feet have a slight ogee outline on their inner surfaces; they butt the sides of the rear feet and that joint was reinforced with a vertical block on the back (now missing). Examined by P. E. Kane, 2003.

Bibliography

Barry A. Greenlaw, New England Furniture at Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Va.: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, 1974), 118–119, no. 99, ill.