image of object
Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's, New York
Click the image to enlarge

Desk and bookcase

Object number



Maker Unknown


89 39 1/4 20 1/2 in. (226.061 99.695 52.07 cm)



Current location



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


Cherry (primary); cherry (top of desk); white pine (drawer linings, backboards, bottom board, bonnet boards, top of bookcase, blocks for feet, rear brackets)






Julia D. and Franklin R. Cushman (1870–1952), Glocester, Rhode Island; bequeathed to Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, 1952; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, October 7, 2006, lot 219

Associated names

The Rhode Island Historical Society
Julia D. Cushman
Franklin R. Cushman


The drawer bottoms are four boards that run front to back and are fitted into rabbets in the front and sides and are nailed to the underside of the back. Half-blind dovetails fasten the drawer fronts to the drawer sides with a half pin at the top and a half tail at the bottom. The top edges of the drawers have a central groove. The drawer supports are replaced, but were nailed to the case sides. Narrow strips of wood nailed to the three piece case sides act as drawer stops. The joint of the drawer dividers to the case sides is covered with a facing strip. The muntins flanking the lopers are tenoned to the rails above and below; the faces of the lopers have beaded edges. The bookcase back is two horizontal boards lapped to one another with a small additional board at the top of the pediment. The boards are fitted to rabbets in the case sides and top and are nailed to the back of the bookcase bottom. The backboards of the desk are horizontal (only one remains) and are nailed to rabbets in the case sides and top and to the back of the desk bottom. The ogee bracket feet are glued to the two-piece case bottom. The vertical block for the feet rests on the case bottom with the horizontal blocks abutting. The back of the rear feet are boards with a serpentine outline that fit in a slot in the sides of the rear feet. Examined by P. E. Kane and M. Taradash, October 4, 2006.


Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana Including Property from the Rhode Island Historical Society, sale cat. (October 7, 2006), 155, lot 219, ill.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., "Catalog of The Rhode Island Historical Society Furniture Collection," Rhode Island History 16, no. 1 (January 1957): 26–27, no. 21, ill.