image of object
Photo: Courtsey Newport Historical Sociey, R.I., Bequest of Peyton Hazard, inv. no. 1960.2.1; photo by Adams Taylor
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Desk and bookcase


Object number

RIF6083

Maker

Maker Benjamin Tayer, 1733?1819
Alternate name(s): Benjamin Tears

Date

1750–80

Current location

Newport Historical Society

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany

Marks

"Benj Tear," in chalk, on the inside back of one exterior drawer

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Peyton Hazard (1873–1960), Newport and Jamestown, Rhode Island; bequeathed to Newport Historical Society, Rhode Island, 1960

Associated names

Peyton Hazard

Construction

The broken serpentine pediment of the bookcase section centers a fluted plinth with molded base and cap, supporting a single-piece fluted urnform finial with a corkscrew flame. Inside the bookcase are two shelves with double-beaded front edges set into grooves in the case sides and fifteen fixed vertical dividers of graduated heights set into grooves in the interior floor and ceiling and the respective tops and bottoms of the shelves. The flat horizontal panels of the bookcase doors are tenoned into full-width rails. The horizontal portion of the desk section?s hinged lid is in two parts, indicating an old repair. It is tenoned into flanking vertical boards, and opens to an interior centering a concave-blocked, shell-carved prospect door flanked by double-beaded stiles and valanced openings (the valances possibly of a later date) separated by straight-fronted uprights with serpentine bottoms over convex-blocked small-drawers, in turn flanked by banks of convex-blocked small drawers, the upper ones shell-carved, the whole on a conformingly blocked ogee-molded base. The small-drawer fronts meet their slightly shorter full height, arch-topped sides in dovetail joints having finely cut pins with half-pins above. The convex-blocked drawers? pins are markedly smaller, with thicker necks, than the concave-blocked drawers? pins. The drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts; one small drawer is fitted with two transverse and one longitudinal partitions. The front edge of the writing surface and the drawer dividers below meet the case sides in half-blind dovetail joints. The bottom rail sits in grooves in the case sides. At the midpoint of the case interior, a vertical batten is fixed to the inside faces of the half-lapped horizontal backboards. The vertical elements beside the thumb-molded lopers are half-blind dovetailed to the rail above and sit in grooves in the rail below. Full-depth drawer supports are nailed to the case sides. The thumb-molded and graduated long-drawer fronts meet their slightly shorter, arch-topped sides in dovetail joints having large, finely cut pins of slightly varying configuration, with half-pins above and large half-pins with grooves below. The drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts and full-width, set into grooves in the front and fitted with full-depth runners. The case bottom meets its sides in dovetail joints with wide pins. The feet consist of rectangular vertical blocks fixed directly to the case bottom and flanked by shaped horizontal blocks, the whole faced with ogee brackets. The backs of the rear feet are simple, straight-profiled trapezoidal brackets. Notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.