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Photo: Courtesy Pat Rittenmeyer 07/10
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Slant-front desk


Object number

RIF5010

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

41 3/8 41 1/2 22 1/4 in. (105.09 105.41 56.52 cm) Height, drawer 1: 3 3/4 in. (9.53 cm) Width, drawer 1: 33 3/4 in. (85.73 cm) Height, drawer 2: 4 3/8 in. (11.11 cm) Width, drawer 2: 36 3/4 in. (93.35 cm) Height, drawer 3: 5 1/4 in. (13.34 cm) Width, drawer 3: 36 3/4 in. (93.35 cm) Height, drawer 4: 6 1/4 in. (15.88 cm) Width, drawer 4: 36 3/4 in. (93.35 cm) Height, foot: 6 1/4 in. (15.88 cm) Width, fall front: 36 5/8 in. (93.03 cm)

Date

1760–80

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (secondary)

Marks

Unknown

Inscriptions

Unknown

Provenance

Originally owned by Jeremiah Child (born 1727), Warren, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, Jeremiah Child, Jr. (1768–1861), Warren, Rhode Island; by descent to John Henry Child (born 1818), Warren, Rhode Island. Thomas M. Childs; by descent to Ralph Winslow Childs (1900–1991); by descent to Allison Winslow Childs Blackinton (1929–2010); private collection

Associated names

Jeremiah Child
Jeremiah Child, Jr.
John Henry Child
Thomas M. Childs
Ralph Winslow Childs
Allison Winslow Childs Blackinton

Construction

The single-board top is attached to its single-board case sides with half-blind dovetail joints, and the single-board bottom is dovetailed to the case sides. The hinged lid consists of three boards, assembled in the ?breadboard? manner?a large horizontal board tenoned into two flanking vertical boards, the whole thumb molded. The tenons are visible at the bottom of the lid. The interior contains a shell-carved prospect door with beaded stiles, flanked by open compartments with scrolling partitions, in turn flanked by valanced compartments. Below are two pairs of small drawers stepped back from two longer drawers, above a molded base. Within the case are drawer supports fixed to the sides and a strip of wood just below the upper drawer supports, attached to the inside of the backboard with nails and screws. The top rail, stiles around the lopers, and drawer dividers all meet their neighboring elements in half-blind dovetail joints. The lipped and thumb-molded drawer fronts are secured to their drawer sides with dovetail joints, having finely cut pins of varying configurations, with large half-pins above and smaller half-pins below. The tops of the drawer sides are arched and quite shy of the drawer front tops. The tops of the drawer backs are flat, and shaped at their rear corners to align with the tops of the drawer sides. The single-board drawer-bottoms are parallel to their fronts, and chamfered at the front and sides, where they fit into grooves in the full-height drawer sides. Behind the front ogee bracket feet are full-height vertical blocks, flanked by shaped horizontal blocks. The rear feet are similarly configured, except for simple chamfered horizontal blocks and diagonal pine brackets at the back. The feet are now fitted with casters. Notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd from photographs supplied by Pat Rittenmeyer, July 2010