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Photo: Courtesy The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Mich., 30.157.3. Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply. http://www.TheHenryFord.org/copyright.html
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Desk-on-frame


Object number

RIF4783

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

40 31 1/2 17 in. (101.6 80.01 43.18 cm)

Date

1720–40

Current location

The Henry Ford

Geography

Made in Rhode Island, or possibly made in New London, Connecticut
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Maple (primary); maple (front board of desk bottom); pine (board beneath interior desk section and supports and guides for exterior drawer); chestnut (all other secondary wood)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“I,” in graphite, on exterior proper-left side of proper-right interior drawer; “2,” in graphite, on interior front and exterior proper-right side of proper-right interior drawer; “I,” in graphite, on interior back, interior bottom, and proper-right exterior side of proper-left interior drawer; “X,” in graphite, on exterior back of stand; “X,” in graphite, on exterior back of exterior drawer; “X,” incised on exterior bottom of exterior drawer; “Bottom,” in graphite, on exterior bottom of desk

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Philip Flayderman, Boston, by 1930; consigned by his estate to American Art Association Anderson Galleries, New York, January 2–4, 1930, lot 174; acquired by Israel Sack, Boston; sold to Henry Ford (1863–1947), Dearborn, Michigan, 1930; The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan

Associated names

Philip Flayderman
Anderson Galleries
Henry Ford

Construction

The single-board top is blind-dovetailed to its single-board case sides. Visible on the back of the top board are channels in its underside cut out to receive the top edges of the desk interior?s partitions. The back edges of the case sides are cut out in a similar fashion. The single-board case bottom is blind-dovetailed to the case sides. There are several nails in the case bottom, securing it to the drawer support and loper guides inside. The two-board case back is chamfered at its top and sides where it fits into grooves in the case top and sides. The top and bottom rails of the case front are blind-dovetailed to the front edges of the case sides. Under the bottom rail is a (probably replaced) rail concealed by the molding on top of the frame. The hinged, thumb-molded lid consists of a large horizontal board tenoned into flanking vertical boards; the joints between them are visible at the bottom of the lid when it is closed. It opens to an interior centering a plain-fronted prospect drawer flanked by valanced open compartments above a ressauited lower tier of two drawers on a molded base. The interior drawer fronts meet their drawer sides in dovetail joints having large thick-necked pins with half-pins above. The prospect drawer-side tops are flat, the lower drawer-sides are shorter than their drawer fronts and chamfered. The single-board bottoms, parallel to the front, are chamfered at the front and sides, where they fit into grooves in the elements above. They are fixed to the drawer backs above by a wood pin in the prospect drawer and a rosehead nail in the lower drawers. The exterior drawer is constructed similarly; its bottom is two-board, with a single rosehead nail near the joint between them, and it is fixed to its back with rosehead nails. The tops of the drawer sides are chamfered and incised; the tops of the outside corners are also chamfered. The molding atop the separate frame is attached to it with wood-filled fasteners. The flat-arched rails are tenoned and double-wood-pinned to the blocks atop the turned legs, which end in an outset shod pad foot. The interior edges of the blocks atop the legs are chamfered. Some wood pins appear to be replaced. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, August 4, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Notes

The desk retains remnants of its original Spanish-brown paint.

Bibliography

Anderson Galleries and American Art Association, New York, Colonial Furniture, Silver, and Decorations: The Collection of the Late Philip Flayderman, sale cat. (January 2–4, 1930), 42, lot 174, ill.
Katharine Bryant Hagler, American Queen Anne Furniture: 1720–1755, exh. cat. (Dearborn, Mich.: The Edison Institute, 1976), 12, right, ill.