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Photo: Rhode Island Furniture Archive, courtesy Preservation Society of Newport County, R.I., 1784, HH 3.3
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Slant-front desk

Object number



Maker Unknown


43 1/2 x 38 1/4 x 21 3/4 in. (110.49 x 97.155 x 55.245 cm)



Current location

Preservation Society of Newport County


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


Mahogany (primary); yellow poplar (drawer linings, back and bottom boards of case, and board under desk interior); pine(?) (support for lopers)




"Wm. Earnest Goffe / Please deliver to Wm. E. Goffe the / old mahogany desk that you have belonging to me & / sent to you for repairs. / Wm. E. Goffe pays all repairs. / Chris Townsend, Newport, R.I. 19 May 1860," written in ink on a paper label glued to the exterior side of one of the document drawers; “1” and “2,” in graphite, on exterior bottoms of proper-right and proper-left interior desk drawers; “1,” in graphite, on exterior bottom of one of interior desk drawers flanking prospect door; “1,” in graphite, on proper-left exterior side of document drawer without label


Christopher Townsend (died 1881), Newport, Rhode Island, by 1860. John S. Walton, Inc., New York; sold to the Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, by 1965

Associated names

Christopher Townsend
John S. Walton, Inc.


Joseph K. Ott, The John Brown House Loan Exhibition of Rhode Island Furniture, exh. cat. (Providence: The Rhode Island Historical Society, 1965), 112–113, no. 70, ill.