image of object
From: Daniel Kurt Ackermann, "Acceptance and Assimilation: Jewish Life in Colonial Newport and Savannah," Antiques 183, no. 1 (January/February 2016): 201, fig. 9.
Click the image to enlarge

Bureau table


Object number

RIF342

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

33 × 38 1/4 × 19 in. (83.82 × 97.155 × 48.26 cm)

Date

1760–85

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); cottonwood [?] (drawer linings, battens, and bottom board); cedar (bottom of frieze drawer, back boards); pine (drawer dividers, sides of cupboard, drawer supports for lower drawers, original blocks on feet); chestnut (blocks on front feet)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“2,” “3,” “4,” and “5,” in graphite, on drawer dividers; “2,” “3,” and “6” (maybe other numbers), in chalk, on interior drawer backs of small drawers; "This piece of furniture [illegible] / [illegible] from Mr. / Lopez of Newport to my / father's mother given to / me by my Aunts [illegible and torn] / to [illegible] / [illegible]," in ink, on a paper label on interior bottom of one small drawer

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Mr. Lopez, Newport, Rhode Island, before 1803; given to his daughter, Mrs. Isaac Minis (née Dinah Lopez, 1780–unknown), Savannah, Georgia, 1803; by descent to her daughters, Cecilia Minis (1832–1887) and Frances Minis (1823–1915); by descent to their neice, Maria Minis (1853–1941), 1915; by descent to her nephew, A. Minis, Jr., 1941; Christie's, New York, June 2, 1983, 142, lot 353; sold to David Stockwell, Greenville, Delaware

Associated names

Lopez Family
Dinah Minis
Isaac Minis
Cecilia Minis
Frances Minis
Maria Minis
Christie's
David Stockwell

Construction

The rectangular, oblong, single-board top is molded on its front and side edges and square at its back edge. A beaded cove molding below is fixed to it and to the single-board case sides with face-nailed brads and other fasteners. The top and its cove molding overhang the case back slightly; the cove molding returns upon itself. The top is joined, by means of transverse keyways visible at its back edge, to two longitudinal battens at its underside which are dovetailed to the tops of the case sides. A single rectangular glue block accompanies the rear batten. Transverse battens at the lateral extremities between the longitudinal battens are nailed to the case sides. The case back consists of several horizontal boards fixed with a variety of nails (some later) to the back edge of the rear longitudinal batten, to rabbets in the case sides, to the back edge of the case bottom, and to interior partitions. Later tip bars are nailed into the case sides directly below the longitudinal battens; the front end of the proper right bar is notched to accommodate one of the three rectilinear longitudinal glue blocks behind the top rail. The joints between the top rail and the case sides are blind. The drawer dividers and bottom rails below meet the case sides and intermediate walls in half-blind dovetail joints. The frieze drawer?s upper cockbeading is fixed with brads to the top rail. The balance of the horizontal cockbeading is integral; the vertical cockbeading is glued. The portion of the frieze drawer?s divider which spans the recessed sections is not cockbeaded. The dust board under the frieze drawer is full-depth and full-width, providing a ceiling for both the central cupboard and the open recessed area in front of it. Within the banks of drawers below are (replaced) drawer supports. The convex flanking carved shells of the blockfronted frieze drawer are applied; the concave center shell is carved from the solid. The inside faces of the frieze drawer and convex-blocked graduated small drawers are flat. The frieze-drawer front meets its slightly shorter arch-topped sides in dovetail joints with finely cut, narrow-necked pins, with half-pins above and below. Its single-board bottom is parallel to the front (where it is chamfered and fits into a groove), and chamfered at the sides, where it fits into rabbets in the bottoms of the drawer sides, to which it is nailed with brads through runners. The bottom is nailed with brads to its drawer back, whose top is flat with rounded upper corners. The small drawers are similarly configured, except for bottoms perpendicular to the fronts. Their interior drawer sides are scribe-lined and their fronts slightly kerf-marked. The banks of graduated small drawers flank a recessed cupboard with a cockbeaded surround enclosing a single-piece, concave-blocked, shell-carved door opening to three small drawers with concave-blocked fronts separated by cockbeaded dividers. The fronts meet their slightly shorter, arch-topped sides in dovetail joints having large, finely cut, narrow-necked pins with half-pins above and half-pins with rabbet below. The drawer bottoms are flat. A single-piece base molding is fixed to the case and slightly overhangs the backboards. The three-board case bottom is fixed to the case sides by dovetail joints having finely cut, slightly thick-necked pins, and to the interior partitions with cut nails. The feet consist of shaped horizontal blocks (some replaced) attached to the case bottoms and mitered at each corner, to which are attached shaped vertical blocks, the whole faced with ogee (and at the forward faces of the front feet, widely blocked and scroll-carved) brackets. The rear-facing brackets of the back feet are simple straight-profiled ogee brackets fixed to the inside of the rear feet?s outer brackets. The rear-facing edges of the back feet?s side brackets have an ogee profile. Examined by P. E. Kane, September 17, 2015; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Mrs. Charlton Theus, "Furniture in Savannah," Antiques 91, no. 3 (March 1967): 368, ill.
"Christie's advertisement," Antiques 123, no. 5 (May 1983): 927, ill.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (June 2, 1983), 142–143, lot 353.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 95, 130, fig. 3.56.
Daniel Kurt Ackermann, "Acceptance and Assimilation: Jewish Life in Colonial Newport and Savannah," Antiques 183, no. 1 (January/February 2016): 199, 201, fig. 9.