Part of a set. See all set records
Mahogany and pine, brass hardware, gilding
Overall: 241.9 x 106 x 56.5 cm (95 1/4 x 41 3/4 x 22 1/4 in.)
Bequest of Mrs. Lawrence Hitchcock 1990.96
A desk and bookcase in the 1700s, often equipped with several locks and keys as in this example, served as a self-contained office for the gentleman of the household.
During the 1700s, a desk and bookcase, sometimes called a bureau in early inventories, was among the largest and most expensive pieces of furniture in a household. Their owners were chiefly businessmen and community leaders, and because of their function as repositories for personal letters and documents, they were usually placed downstairs in a back parlor or hall. A desk and bookcase consisted of two parts: usually a slant-top desk below and a cabinet above that sat within moldings applied to the desktop to hold it in place. The form often included elements derived from contemporary architecture. Like much New England furniture of the later 1700s, the lower section of this example is block-fronted, in which the profile recedes in the center and protrudes at either side. Though some European precedents can be found for block fronting, this type of cabinetry was clearly more popular in America than anywhere else.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email email@example.com.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.