This desk displays many notable design features associated with the Colchester school such as a steeply sloped pediment, rosettes carved with fylfots with four leaves and freehand carving between them, a dentil cornice molding, cubical capped side plinths, an unroofed bonnet cavity that is closed at the rear, the small notch on each of the circular cutouts, use of cherry as the primary wood, and bookcase doors that conform to the bonnet arch. Two related examples from this group with many of the same trademark features include a desk-and-bookcase and chest-on-chest owned by Julius (1755-1838) and Dorothy (Champion) Deming (1759-1830), who had lived in Colchester, Connecticut before their marriage in 1781. Both case pieces are in the collection of Historic Deerfield and illustrated as cat. nos. 96 and 97 of the Kugelman’s book.2 Another related desk-and-bookcase in a private collection with several differing details is likely the work of a Colchester-trained craftsman working in Williamstown, Massachusetts.3
1 See Thomas Kugelman and Alice Kugelman, with Robert Lionetti, Connecticut Valley Furniture (Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society Museum, 2005): cat. No. 94, pp. 212-4.
2 See ibid, pp. 217-220.
3 See ibid, cat. 97a, p. 219.
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