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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive
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Slant-front desk with later bookcase


Object number

RIF6324

Maker

Maker James Halyburton, active 1790 to at least 1823

Dimensions

Desk: 43 3/4 × 43 3/8 × 21 5/8 in. (111.13 × 110.17 × 54.93 cm) Bookcase: 45 7/8 × 43 1/2 × 11 in. (116.52 × 110.49 × 27.94 cm)

Date

1797

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany and light and dark wood inlay; pine (drawer linings on interior drawers, back and top of bookcase, drawer supports, board under desk interior, and bottom board of desk); cherry (shelves in bookcase); chestnut (back boards on desk and exterior drawer linings)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"I," incised, on exterior backs of valance drawers, prospect drawers, and other interior drawers; arcs, incised on interior drawers on exterior sides near fronts and on fronts of loper guides; arc enclosing "I," in chalk, on exterior backs of top and bottom exterior drawers; "II," in chalk, on exterior backs of middle two exterior drawers; "I," incised, on top surface of drawer divider under proper right top interior drawer; "II," incised, on vertical partition on proper right side of proper right top interior drawer; "III," incised, on top surface of drawer divider under proper right middle interior drawer; "IIII," incised, on top surface of drawer divider under proper left top interior drawer; "V," on vertical partition on proper right side of proper left top interior drawer; "VI," incised, on top surface of drawer divider under proper right middle interior drawer; mathematical calculations, in chalk, on interior of proper right side of third exterior drawer

Style

Hepplewhite, Federal

Provenance

Caleb Eddy (1768–1851), Warren, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, James Maxwell Eddy, (1811–1901), Warren, Rhode Island; by descent to his son, James Maxwell Eddy, Jr. (1858–1928), Warren, Rhode Island, and later Cicero, Berwyn, and New Trier, Illinois; by descent to his daughter Mrs. William S. Jacob (née Marion Eddy, 1904-1991), Berwyn and later Highland Park, Illinois; by descent in her family

Associated names

Caleb Eddy
James Maxwell Eddy
James Maxwell Eddy, Jr.
Marion Eddy

Construction

Each chair has a flat-faced double-serpentine crest rail centering an arched, line-decorated reserve and ending in carved, upward sweeping ears. Tenoned into the crest rail above and the molded single-piece rear seat rail/shoe below is a single-piece, openwork, volute-carved, vasiform splat. The leg/stiles, flat in front and rounded in back above the seat, are square below the seat, raking rearward and inward. They are tenoned, without wood pins, to the crest rail. The rear seat rail is tenoned and wood pinned to the leg/stiles, as are the side seat rails, which are similarly fixed to the front legs. The front seat rail is tenoned without wood pins to the front legs. The tops of the front and side seat rails are slightly rounded. The front and side rails are rabbeted to receive a slip seat frame. In each front corner of the seat frame are two rectangular glue blocks. The inside corners of the front legs are chamfered. The rear stretcher is tenoned without wood pins to the rear legs. The side stretchers are tenoned and wood-pinned to the front and rear legs; the wood pins at the outside face of the front legs comprise the tops of the rear stop-flutes. The half-dovetail joints between the medial and the side stretchers are visible on their undersides. Examined by P.E. Kane, March 16, 2017; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Notes

A receipt, dated November 18, 1797, documents the sale of this desk for forty dollars to Caleb Eddy from James Halyburton of Warren, Rhode Island.