image of object
Photo: Courtesy Newport Restoration Foundation, R. I.
Click the image to enlarge

Writing table


Object number

RIF3887

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

30 1/2 30 1/4 18 1/4 in. (77.47 76.835 46.355 cm)

Date

1760–80

Current location

Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); pine (drawer sides); yellow poplar (underside of writing compartment and block on top of pedestal)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

Long illegible inscription, in chalk, on bottom of drawer; "1," in graphite, on exterior of drawer back

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Robert Burns, Cape Cod, Massachusetts; sold to Anne Fallon, New York, 1995; sold to Leigh Keno American Antiques, New York. Northeast Auctions, Hampton and Portsmouth, New Hampshire (sale held Manchester, New Hampshire), August 3–4, 2002, lot 772. An antique shop Willington, Connecticut; sold to Anne Fallon, New York, 2007; sold to Dr. Stowell, 2008. Christie's, New York, January 21–22, and 25, 2010, lot 339; sold to Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island

Associated names

Robert Burns
Anne Fallon
Leigh Keno American Antiques
Northeast Auctions
Dr. Stowell
Christie's

Construction

The single-board rectangular top has a square edge and is joined to the frame by two brass hinges attached with screws. At the midpoint of the underside of the top, opposite the hinged side, is a circular brass catch latch, attached with screws. Flanking the brass catch are two metal brackets, screwed to the underside of the top, apparently intended for top-extension hardware. When tilted up, the underside of the top reveals a reserve (now filled in with lighter wood) once fitted with a tilting bracket designed to support the top in several slanting positions determined by corresponding holes in the top of the frame below. The single-board top of the frame is nailed and screwed to the sides below and bears a brass catch plate for the circular top latch. The sides of the frame are dovetailed to each other. The drawer front is fastened to the sides by three dovetails, with a half-pin above and a half-pin with rabbet below. The three-board bottom is perpendicular to the front and nailed to the back and sides with brads. Centered on the underside of the box which contains the drawer is a square block, hipped at each corner, and flat at the center. It is attached to the board above with rosehead nails. Into the central flat section is set a turned, tapered pedestal, which is further joined to the box above by four incurvate iron brackets with chamfered edges. The brackets have terminal circular reserves containing screws joining them to the pedestal below and the box above. The columnar portion of the pedestal has a turned capital and a plain, tapered shaft above a tenoned base. Its plinth is circular and plain, shaved and dovetailed to receive the three cabriole legs. Covering the joints between legs and pedestal is a tripartite iron reinforcing strap affixed with four screws with domed heads. The strap includes three additional, unused holes. The legs terminate in raised-pad feet. Examined by P. E. Kane, J. S. Gordon, B. Colman, and M. Taradash, January 21, 2010; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Northeast Auctions, Manchester, N.H., New Hampshire Weekend Auction, sale cat. (August 3–4, 2002), 98, lot 772, ill.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, and Chinese Export, sale cat. (January 21–22 and 25, 2010), 209, lot 339, ill.