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Slant-front desk

Object number



Maker, possibly by John Townsend, American, 1732/33–1809
Maker, possibly by Jonathan Townsend, 1745–1772


42 43 3/4 23 in. (106.68 111.13 58.42 cm)



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); mahogany (linings of interior drawers); chestnut (board below interior drawers back boards, backing for drawer dividers, drawer supports, bottom board, blocks on feet); yellow poplar (exterior drawer linings




"1" though "6," in graphite, on exterior back of valance drawers from left to right; "B II," "VB II," "VB W," and VB W," possibly in graphite, on exterior backs of exterior drawers, from top to bottom; "3," in graphite, on underside of proper left interior drawer; other drawers with numbers, "1," "2," "4," "5," and "6," in graphite that may not be original; "A," through "C," in graphite on interior bottoms of prospect drawers from top to bottom; "T * P[backwards]," incised, on underside of top exterior drawer; interlocking arcs, in chalk, on underside of third exterior drawer; double "O," in chalk, on vertical brace at interior back of case; "X," in chalk, on exterior back of middle back board; "GINSBURG & LEVY, Inc., / ANTIIQUE [torn] / 815 MADISON AVE [torn] / NEW YORK," printed in blue ink, on paper label glued to interior proper left side of tope exterior drawer


Ginsburg and Levy, Inc., New York. Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York, before 1984. A du Pont collection; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 20–21, 2017, lot 4230

Associated names

Ginsburg and Levy, Inc.
Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc.


Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 42, fig. 1.27.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana Including Property from the Collection of Joan Oestreich Kend, sale cat. (January 20–21, 2017), lot 4230, ill.