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Bureau table

Object number



Maker, attributed to James Goddard, Jr., born 1752


33 37 20 1/2 in. (83.82 93.98 52.07 cm)



Current location

Private Collection


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (sub-top); red cedar (long drawer bottom, divider under long drawer, and sides, top, bottom, and shelves of cupboard); yellow poplar (small drawer linings, long drawer sides, and case back); pine (case bottom and support at back of large drawer)




Illegible graphite [possibly "1"], on interior back of long drawer; "1," in graphite, on interior back of proper-right upper drawer; "1," in chalk, on exterior bottom of proper-right upper drawer; "2" [probably later], in graphite, on exterior bottom of proper-right middle drawer; "3," in chalk, on exterior proper-right lower drawer bottom; "1" [probably later], in graphite, on exterior bottom of proper-left upper drawer; "4," in graphite, on interior back of proper-left upper drawer; "2," in chalk, on exterior bottom of proper-left middle drawer; "3" [probably later], in graphite, on exterior bottom of proper-left lower drawer; inscription [possibly "TOP"], in chalk, on underside of top


William Ellery (1727–1820) and Abigail Carey Ellery (1742–1793), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to their daughter Lucy Channing (1752–1834), Newport, Rhode Island; by descent to her daughter Mary Rogers (1783–1843), Boston; by descent to her daughter Mary Ruth Channing Coolidge (1822–unknown), Boston; by descent to her daughter Margaret Chapman Deane (1849–unknown), Boston; by descent to her husband, Walter Deane, Boston (1848–unknown); by descent to Alice Channing (1888–1985), North Chatham, Massachusetts, a great-great grandaughter of Lucy Ellery Channing. Private collection, 1972

Associated names

William Ellery
Abigail Carey Ellery
Lucy Ellery Channing
Mary Channing Rogers
Mary Ruth Coolidge
Margaret Chapman Deane
Walter Deane
Alice Channing


The single-board rectangular oblong top is molded on its front and side edges, where it is supported by a single-piece beaded cove molding. The top overhangs slightly at the back; the molding does not. The top is secured to a full depth "sub-top." This sub-top appears to be dovetailed to the case sides and secured to the case top with multiple rosehead nails. Just below the top are strips, nailed to the case sides with rosehead and other nails, which prevent the top drawer from tipping forward. Five horizontal chamfered glue blocks reinforce the joint between the sub-top and the top rail. The case-back consists of two horizontal boards half-lapped together and nailed with brads and other nails to rabbets in the case sides and directly to the case bottom, sub-top and interior partitions. The case bottom consists of four boards, dovetailed to the case and partition sides, and occasionally reinforced with brads. The top rail meets the case sides in blind joints, as do the partition stiles and the divider below the frieze drawer, which is not cock-beaded. The bottom rail and drawer dividers meet the case sides and partition in half-blind dovetail joints. Within the case are (replaced) drawer supports nailed to the case and partition sides and vertical drawer stops glued to the interior corners. The block and shell-carved frieze drawer front meets its drawer sides in dovetail joints, having numerous closely spaced, finely cut, narrow-necked pins, with large half-pins above and half-pins below. The top of the drawer sides and backs are slightly rounded. The bottoms of the upper drawer sides are pieced. The upper drawer bottom is chamfered, consists of four boards perpendicular to the front, fits into grooves in the drawer front and sides, and is nailed with brads to the drawer back above. The rear corners of the upper drawer are chamfered. The small drawers are constructed similarly, but with pieced drawer-side tops and bottoms parallel to the fronts. The concave-blocked and shell-carved hinged door in the recessed center appears to be a single piece, opening to a compartment with two shelves fitted into grooves. The frame around the cupboard door has mitered corners, and its edges are cockbeaded. Each front foot consists of a carved vertical block, fixed directly to the case bottom, and flanked by horizontal glue blocks, the whole faced with ogee bracket feet, volute carved and convex blocked in front. The brackets are secured to the case above with countersunk screws. The rear feet are constructed similarly, but for their back faces, which are simple ogee brackets set into grooves in the side-facing ogee brackets. At the back of the single-piece base molding above the feet are countersunk screws attaching it to the case sides. Examined by P. E. Kane and W. S. Braznell, August 21, 2012; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd

See also


Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 284n4.