Desk and Bookcase

Collection Type

  • Furniture

Date

ca. 1820

GUSN

GUSN-180316

Description

Desk and bookcase of mahogany, inlaid with wavy birch and bird's eye maple. Top bookcase section has two glass doors with wooden tracery. Brass eagle and urn finials. Bottom desk section has top drawer with fall front. Drawer interior has hidden interior drawers and divided compartments. Desk drawers have ivory escutcheons and brasses with floral motif.

Details

Descriptive Terms

desks and bookcases
mahogany (wood)
bird's-eye maple
ivory (tooth component)
brass (alloy)
veneering
inlay (process)
glass (material)
Federal
Desk, Drop-front

Label

Centennial Acquisitions Exhibiton, October 22nd-23rd, 30th-31st, 2010:Sarah Orne Jewett sat at this desk to write the stories for which she is still celebrated today. Situated on the second-floor hall landing of Jewett’s South Berwick home, the desk overlooked the town’s busy crossroads that provided the author with material for her books. Most likely, the desk originally belonged to Jewett’s grandfather. It bears the maker’s mark of Joseph Murphy, a South Berwick cabinetmaker whose account book survives at the Portsmouth Athenaeum.

Inscription

"JOSEPH MURPHY" (impressed)
"[illegible letters] 12/25/53" (Red pen)

Associated Building

Original To Sarah Orne Jewett House (South Berwick, Me.),

Additional Identification Number

40.2

Maker

Murphy, Joseph, 1796-1872 (Cabinetmaker)

Location of Origin

South Berwick, Maine

Object Type

Furniture

Dimensions

73 1/4 x 42 1/4 x 20 1/2 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Museum Purchase

Accession Number

2009.26.2

Places

Maine (United States)
South Berwick (York county, Maine)