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Slant-front desk

Object number



Maker Unknown


Overall: 40 1/4 37 17 1/2 in. (102.24 93.98 44.45 cm)



Current location



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


Maple (primary); chestnut (drawer linings, drawer supports for upper drawer, back boards); pine (pigeon-hole sides, bottoms and ledge above long interior drawers); maple (bottom board)


Foster-Lemmens Collection, Wexford, Pennsylvania; Northeast Auctions, Hampton and Portsmouth, New Hampshire (sale held Manchester, New Hampshire), August 8, 2010, lot 1535

Associated names

Foster-Lemmens Collection
Northeast Auctions


The single-board top is attached to the single-board case sides with half-blind dovetail joints, having large, thick-necked pins with half-pins in front. The three-board thumb-molded, hinged top is assembled in the "breadboard" manner, consisting of a large horizontal board tenoned into narrow vertical boards. The interior contains a small prospect drawer flanked by compartments with scalloped valances, above a row of five small drawers set back from two wider small drawers, above a molded base. The interior drawer fronts are attached to their drawer sides by dovetail joints, with large, thick-necked pins and half-pins above. The tops of the drawer sides are slightly arched, chamfered at the back where they align with the chamfered drawer back tops, and quite shy of the tops of the drawer fronts. The flat interior drawer bottoms, perpendicular to the fronts, are nailed with brads to the drawer fronts and backs above. In the case below, the top rail is joined to the case sides in a half-blind dovetail, the drawer dividers below in half-blind half-dovetails, and the bottom rail in grooves. Within the case are full-depth drawer supports nailed to the case sides with brads. The top rail/writing surface is chamfered on its underside where it meets the case sides above the lopers, which have thumbmolded fronts, doweled stops, supports attached with modern nails to the drawer supports below, and further stops glued to the inside of the case back. The four graduated drawers have thumb-molded fronts attached to their arched-top sides with dovetail joints, having large, thick-necked pins with half-pins above and half-pins with rabbets below. The top corner of the inside of the drawer fronts, behind the lip, is chamfered. The single-board drawer bottoms are full-width, chamfered at the sides, where they are secured with runners nailed with brads, nailed into a rabbet in the drawer front, and nailed with brads to the drawer backs. Inside the drawer fronts are prominent kerf lines and signs of alternate hardware. A cove molding at the base is nailed with brads at the bottom rail and case sides. The horizontal strip atop the feet assembly is continuous in grain with, though separate from, the bracket feet below, and nailed to the base board with brads. The two-board case bottom is secured to the case sides with dovetail joints having large, thick-necked dovetails, to the bottom rail with a single rosehead nail, and to the case back with brads. Behind the mitered faces of the front bracket feet are horizontal rectangular glue blocks with chamfered corners, fitted together and attached directly to the case bottom. Below them at each foot are large vertical blocks, of varying configurations, formerly fitted with casters. The rear bracket feet have similar horizontal blocks, below which are vertical blocks without caster holes. The back bracket feet, of varying configurations, are butted to the inside face of the side brackets and nailed into the back of the case bottom above. Examined by P.E. Kane, August 6, 2010; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.


Northeast Auctions, Manchester, N.H., Foster-Lemmens Collection, sale cat. (August 8, 2010), 84, lot 1535, ill.