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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive
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Slant-front desk

Object number



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



Current location



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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (interior drawer linings, backboards); white pine (exterior drawer linings, case bottom)


"THOMAS HOWARD, / [illegible] AND CHAIR [illegible] / HAVING removed from Providen [illegible] / into ma [illegible] / he is determined [illegible] nner, and [illegible] / he doubts not but all who employ him [illegible] t Satisfaction in their Treatment / Pawtuxet, October [illegible] 1795.," printed on a paper label, glued to interior bottom of one exterior drawer


Numbers, in graphite, on undersides of interior and exterior drawer bottoms; illegible chalk markings, on underside of interior drawer bottoms; illegible, in paint, on underside of interior drawer bottom


The three-board lid is fitted with three sets of brass hinges, supported on full-depth lopers and opens to an interior centering a prospect section with a concave-blocked and fan-carved small drawer over two concave-blocked drawers, flanked by four arched open compartments with shaped dividers above two small and one long drawers above a molded base. The small drawers have dovetail joints with finely carved pins with a half-pin above, flat top drawer sides and backs flush with the drawer fronts and drawer bottoms chamfered at the front and sides to fit into grooves in the drawer front and sides. The small drawer bottoms run parallel to the fronts and are attached with countersunk rosehead nails to the drawer backs above. The top rail and the three drawer dividers are joined to the case with half-blind dovetails, as are the stiles at the lopers. The bottom rail is set into grooves in the case sides. The four molded and graduated long drawers have flat-top drawer sides and backs and two-board drawer bottoms parallel to the front, chamfered at the sides and front, where they are let into grooves. The drawer bottoms are attached with slightly countersunk rosehead nails to the drawer backs above. The case back consists of three horizontal boards nailed into rabbets in the top and sides. Large blocking behind the base molding is mitered at the front corners and nailed with rosehead nails into the case bottom. The feet (which are replaced) are attached to this blocking. Behind each ogee bracket foot is a vertical glue block flanked by horizontal glue blocks. The backs of the rear feet are serpentine shaped brackets. Notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.