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Photo: Courtesy CRN Auctions, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
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Slant-front desk


Object number

RIF5671

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

41 3/4 40 22 in. (106.05 101.6 55.88 cm)

Date

1780–1800

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); yellow poplar (drawer sides, board below interior drawers, upper drawer supports, and vertical brace); pine (drawer bottoms and backboards); chestnut (bottom board)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

CRN Auctions, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 9, 2012, lot 284. Northeast Auctions, Hampton and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, March 9–10, 2013, lot 94

Associated names

CRN Auctions, Inc.
Northeast Auctions

Construction

The single-board top is blind-dovetailed to the single-board sides. The case back consists of two large horizontal boards lapped together above one narrow board, nailed with rosehead and other nails into rabbets in the case top and sides, and to the bottom. The single-board case bottom is dovetailed to the case sides. The hinged lid is assembled in the "breadboard" manner, consisting of a large horizontal board tenoned into two vertical boards which are visible at the base of the lid, the whole thumbmolded. The lid opens, resting on half-height thumbmolded lopers, to reveal an interior consisting of a concave-blocked shell-carved prospect door (replaced), flanked, proper left, by two short banks of convex-blocked and concave-blocked small drawers, and proper right, by three concave-fronted valanced small drawers above three open compartments with scalloped partitions over a single convex-blocked drawer. On the proper right is a bank of three concave-blocked small drawers, the upper shell-carved. The small drawers' fronts are attached to their sides with dovetail joints having finely cut pins of slightly varying configuration and spacing. The tops of the small drawers' sides are flat. Some are flush with, some are shy of the tops of the drawer fronts. The drawer bottoms are flat and glued in place. Within the case below is a vertical brace, nailed with brads to the centerline of the backboards, and full depth (replaced) drawer supports. The loper guides and supports are chamfered at the rear of the case, to which they are fixed with rosehead nails. The top rail and drawer dividers are attached to the case with half-blind dovetail joints. The bottom rail fits into grooves in the case sides. The thumb-molded, lipped, and graduated long drawer fronts are chamfered on the inside and attached to their flat-topped drawer sides with dovetail joints, having finely cut pins slightly irregularly arranged, with half-pins above and below. The chamfered drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts, have full-depth runners, and are attached with rosehead nails to the drawer backs. The base molding, and the blocking and facing of the bracket feet are replaced. Examined by P.E. Kane and W.S. Braznell, March 9, 2013; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

"CRN Antiques, Inc., advertisement," Antiques and the Arts Weekly (August 31, 2012): 92.
"CRN Auctions, Inc., September 9, 2012," http://www.crnauctions.com (accessed July 1, 2013).
Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, N.H., Important Weekend Auction, sale cat. (March 9–10, 2013), 33, lot 94, ill.