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From: Sotheby's New York, Important Americana including Property from the Rhode Island Historical Society, 164, lot 230
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Butler's desk and bookcase

Object number



Maker Thomas Howard, Jr., 1774–1833
Alternate name(s): Thomas Howard


Height: 80 in. (203.2 cm) Width: 37 in. (93.98 cm) Depth: 20 1/2 in. (52.07 cm)



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); white pine, cherry (secondary); sheet glass (bookcase doors)


"Thos. Howard's/Cabinet Warehouse/Near the Bridge/Providence, R.I." in graphite on the top of the desk section. P. E. Kane could not find this inscription when the desk was examined at Sotheby's in 2006.


"3," "2," "1" in graphite on the exterior drawers from the bottom to the top and on the corrresponding drawer dividers. Two generations of numbers are visible. "X" in graphite on the drawer dividers.


Mr. and Mrs. W. Stanley Barrett, Providence, Rhode Island, by 1965; given to Rhode Island Historical Society , Providence, 1981; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, October 7, 2006, lot 230

Associated names

W. Stanley Barrett
The Rhode Island Historical Society
Mrs. W. Stanley Barrett


The grain of the wood on the three-piece drawer bottoms runs from side to side; the drawer bottoms fit into rabbets in the front and sides and are nailed to the underside of the drawer back with brads. glue blocks on the underside reinforce the joints at the front and sides. An applied strip covers the joints of the drawer dividers and the case. The drawer supports are nailed to the case sides and are replaced. The bottom board is flush with the lower rail. The backboards are butted together. Examined by P. E. Kane and M. Taradash, October 4, 2006.


Eleanore Bradford Monahon, "Thomas Howard, Jr., Providence Cabinetmaker," Antiques 87, no. 6 (June 1965): 702, fig. 1.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana Including Property from the Rhode Island Historical Society, sale cat. (October 7, 2006), 164, lot 230, ill.
Eleanore Bradford Monahon, "Providence Cabinetmakers," Rhode Island History 23, no. 1 (January 1964): 7–8, fig. 2.
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), 113n44.