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Fall front desk on frame. Hard maple, soft maple, and butternut with white pine and other secondary wood. Fall-front opens to reveal central door flanked by applied columns. Four pigeonholes with shaped cornices flank each side of central door and surmount two tiers of drawers with reverse-curve fronts and brass pulls. Cutout skirt with drops. Cabriole legs, pad feet. Replaced brass hardware. Drawers never had locks. Original lock remains on lid.
In the seventeenth century, before the development of traditional desks, people used boxes with slanted lids to write on. Before long, these boxes were elevated to a convenient height by the addition of a tall frame. This desk-on-frame, produced about 1735-1760 in the Newbury, Massachusetts area, with its cabriole legs and pad feet, represents a stylistically updated version of a seventeenth-century form. By the time this example was made, desks with slant lid tops over a case of four large drawers had become the norm.
40 3/4 x 33 5/8 x 20 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Stephen Greene