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Bureau table

Object number



Maker in part Daniel Goddard, born 1747


31 3/4 39 3/4 21 in. (80.65 100.97 53.34 cm)



Current location

Dietrich American Foundation


Probably made in Newport, Rhode Island, Possibly made in Shelburne, Nova Scotia
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (Swietenia mahogani) (primary); Eastern red cedar (Juniperus sp.) (drawer linings, rear section of drawer dividers, bottom board, backboards, shelves in cupboard); white pine (Pinus sp.) (subtop); chestnut (two horizontal glue blocks behind foot facings); birch (Betula sp.) (rear cross element, upper drawer divider); cottonwood (Populus sp.) upper drawer stop nailed to case side


"Daniel Goddard - His Draugh," in chalk, on exterior back of top drawer


"A," "B," "C," "D," "E," and "F," in chalk, on interior front corners of small drawers; corresponding letters, incised, on drawer dividers; one drawer with "A," [?], in chalk, on exterior of one drawer


Israel Sack, Inc., New York, 1969; sold to the Dietrich American Foundation, Philadelphia

Associated names

Israel Sack, Inc.


The oblong rectangular single-board top is molded on its front and side edges, where it is supported by a single-piece molding attached with brads. The top and molding do not overhang at the back. The top is secured to a "sub-top" with dovetail keys. Just below the top are strips which prevent the top drawer from tipping forward when open. Five horizontal glue blocks reinforce the joint between the sub-top and the top rail. The back consists of horizontal boards (some replaced) fixed with rosehead nails to rabbets in the case sides. The case bottom consists of two boards, dovetailed to the case sides and fixed with rosehead nails to the bottom rail and to the partitions in the recessed portion of the case. The top rail meets the case sides in blind joints, as do the partition stiles and the proper right bottom rail. The proper left bottom rail ends in half-blind dovetail joints. The drawer divider below the frieze drawer meets the sides in half-dovetail joints, and its bottom edge is not cockbeaded in the central portion. The small-drawer dividers have half-blind dovetail joints. Within the case are supports for the frieze drawer set into grooves in the backboards and case sides. There are vertical stops fixed to the case sides with rosehead nails for the upper drawer. The central, recessed section of the case has a roof which contains rosehead nails connecting it to the interior partition walls below. In the top of the drawer divider are more rosehead nails attached to the exterior partition walls. The small drawers have supports (some replaced) attached to the case and partition sides. The block and shell-carved and arched-lattice decorated frieze-drawer front meets its arched-top drawer sides in dovetail joints, having finely cut, narrow-necked pins, with half-pins above and below. The drawer sides are slightly shy of the drawer front. There are scribe lines inside the frieze-drawer sides. Its bottom consists of four boards, perpendicular to the front, chamfered on the front and sides where they fit into grooves in the drawer front and full-depth drawer sides. Full-length drawer runners occupy the space between drawer bottom and side. The back of the drawer bottom is joined to the flat-topped drawer back with brads and rosehead nails. The outer portions of the two lower banks of drawers below contain substantial blocking, fixed to the case sides with rosehead nails, to allow for the presence of stop-fluted quarter columns. The small, convex-blocked drawers are constructed in a manner similar to the frieze drawer, save for perpendicular, one-board drawer bottoms fixed to the drawer back with rosehead nails. There are prominent scribe lines and kerf marks. Between the banks of small drawers is a recessed, concave-blocked and shell-carved door, fitted with brass hinges and lock, and opening to two shelves with concave-blocked rounded fronts, set into grooves in the partitions. The cockbeaded frame around the door is not mitered. The front feet consist of vertical rectangular blocks, attached directly to the case bottom, flanked by carved, chamfered horizontal blocks, attached to the case bottom with a variety of nails and screws, to the fronts of which are attached blocked, scroll and leaf-carved, gadrooned and incised ogee bracket faces. The rear feet are constructed similarly, except for the back brackets, which are square-edged, straight, ogee brackets, set into grooves in the side faces. Examined by P.E. Kane, April 25, 2008; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd


This bureau table is closely related to RIF 794 and RIF 792.

See also


Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 141, 265, 291, pl. 16, fig. 3.68, 6.13, 7.18.
"Israel Sack, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 95, no. 1 (January 1969): inside cover, ill.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 190–91, fig. 64.
Alexandra W. Rollins, "Furniture in the Collection of the Dietrich American Foundation," Antiques 125, no. 5 (May 1984): 1103, pl. II, fig. 5, 5a.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Prints, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (January 15–16, 1999), 142, fig. 2, 2A.
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), 3, 286, 291–294, 298, 300, 378, 446, no. 55, fig. 1–3, 5.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art and Silver, sale cat. (January 24, 2020), 92, 94, fig. 1–2.
William C. Ketchum Jr., American Cabinetmakers: Marked American Furniture, 1640-1940 (New York: Crown Publishers, 1995), 135–136, ill.