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Bureau table

Object number



Maker, formerly attributed to John Goddard, American, 1723–1785
Maker Unknown


31 1/2 × 35 × 19 1/4 in. (80.01 × 88.9 × 48.9 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


Probably made in Providence, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)


Mahogany (primary); white pine (cabinet sides and top back, glue block for rear batten under top) probably cedrela (top front of cabinet, visible above the cupboard door); yellow pine (bottom board); white pine (vertical blocks on feet); chestnut (drawer supports, backboards, drawer sides and bottoms, rear brackets); maple (subtop battens)




"A," in graphite, on interior back of wide drawer; "!," in graphite, on interior front corners of wide drawer; "1," "2," "3," "4," "5," and "6," in graphite, on interior back of small drawers and at corresponding interior front corners of drawer sides


Stephen Hopkins (1762–1830) and his wife Mary Rodman Hopkins (1762–1849), Providence, Rhode Island; probably by descent to their daughter Mrs. Elisha C. Wells (née Harriet Amanda Hopkins, 1801–1879), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to her daughter Mrs. Thomas A. Sweetland (née Charlotte Wells, 1829–1899), Providence, Rhode Island; by descent to her nephew William W. Tapley (b. 1867), Springfield, Massachusetts; sold to Israel Sack, before 1932; consigned to American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, January 9, 1932, lot 59. Diane and Norman Bernstein, Washington, D.C., before 2006; consigned to Sotheby's New York, January, 22, 2006, lot 173. Sotheby's, New York, January 18–21, 2018, lot 835 (unsold)

Associated names

Diane and Norman Bernstein
Charlotte Wells Sweetland
Israel Sack, Inc.
William W. Tapley
Stephen Hopkins
Mary Rodman Hopkins
Harriet Amanda Hopkins
Elisha C. Wells


TOP: The one-board top has ogee molding on the front and sides and is flat on the back, which is flush with case back. The top is screwed from below to a subtop of two longitudinal battens dovetailed to the tops of the case sides; three glue blocks reinforce the joints of each batten to the front rail and the top; the battens rest on long blocks nailed to the case sides. Below the top an ogee molding is nailed to the front of the top rail, which is dovetailed into the case sides; the moldings on the sides of the case also are nailed in place. DRAWERS: The drawer dividers are dovetailed to the one-board case sides and to the verticals that form the cupboard. The case sides have an extra set of dovetail grooves for drawer dividers and grooves at the rear of the sides for the horizontal support for the wide drawer that have been filled, which indicate the maker made mistake in his original layout. The wide drawer has a full dustboard and its eleven-lobed shells are glued to the front drawer, which is otherwise cut from the solid. The interior of the wide drawer is flat and the grain of the bottom board runs side to side and is secured to the drawer back with nails. The top edges of the drawer sides are rounded and are flush with the drawer fronts, and the top edges of the drawer backs are flat with a slight chamfer at the back. The grain of the bottoms of the small drawers runs from front to back. CUPBOARD: The vertical boards of the cupboard are butted to the wide drawer dustboard and are nailed in place from the underside of the bottom. The cupboard contains two fixed shelves with rounded front edges. BACKBOARDS: The two-board back has a lap joint with the rabbet cut in the bottom board that the top board butts. The boards are nailed to the rabbets in the sides and the subtop, and to a rabbet in the edge of the bottom board. BASE: The moldings are nailed to the two-piece bottom board on the front and to the case sides; the bottom board is dovetailed to the case sides. The vertical blocks on the feet rest on the case bottom and the horizontal blocks abut them with a miter joint. The bracket on the rear feet has an ogee outline and is nailed to the case bottom and is rabeted to fit a slot on the side feet. The side feet are flush with the case back. Examined by P. E. Kane, January 18, 2006, and February 29, 2012.


Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana from the Collection of Diane and Norman Bernstein, The Lindens, Washington, D.C., sale cat. (January 22, 2006), 166–76, lot 173, ill.
American Art Association and Anderson Galleries, New York, One Hundred Important American Antiques, sale cat. (January 9, 1932), 78–79, lot 59, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 18–21, 2018), vol. 2, pp. 98–101, lot 835, ill.