1573
1573

PROPERTY OF A PROMINENT PRIVATE CONNECTICUT COLLECTOR

VERY FINE AND RARE FEDERAL INLAID AND FIGURED MAHOGANY TAMBOUR ROLL-TOP DESK-AND-BOOKCASE, ATTRIBUTED TO THE STOP OF JOHN AND THOMAS SEYMOUR, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, CIRCA 1810
JUMP TO LOT
1573

PROPERTY OF A PROMINENT PRIVATE CONNECTICUT COLLECTOR

VERY FINE AND RARE FEDERAL INLAID AND FIGURED MAHOGANY TAMBOUR ROLL-TOP DESK-AND-BOOKCASE, ATTRIBUTED TO THE STOP OF JOHN AND THOMAS SEYMOUR, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, CIRCA 1810
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana

|
New York

VERY FINE AND RARE FEDERAL INLAID AND FIGURED MAHOGANY TAMBOUR ROLL-TOP DESK-AND-BOOKCASE, ATTRIBUTED TO THE STOP OF JOHN AND THOMAS SEYMOUR, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, CIRCA 1810
appears to retain its original hardware, baize writing surface, interior robin's egg blue paint to the pigeonholes.
Height 83 1/2 in. by Width 35 in. by Depth 22 in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Philip Flayderman, Boston, Massachusetts;
Christie's New York, Property from the Collection of Mrs. J. Insley Blair, January 21, 2006, sale 1618, lot 591.

Catalogue Note

Very few Federal desk-and-bookcases with cylinder lids survive; this example demonstrates a refinement of proportions that distinguish it from other surviving secretaries. This desk-and-bookcase achieves an elegant presence by the design of the lower case, which features a drawer configuration comprising two short drawers over a single long drawer; most surviving desk-and-bookcases feature two long drawers and much shorter legs. By omitting the second long drawer and retaining the characteristic overall height, the cabinetmaker has created a masterful overall design in which the tall reeded legs are proportionately longer and contribute to its visual success.

Robert Mussey's The Furniture Masterworks of John and Thomas Seymour (Salem, Massachusetts: Peabody Essex Museum, 2003), identifies numerous construction methods as specific to their shop and a cause for attribution. This desk-and-bookcase exhibits a number of methods that are associated with the work of the Seymours.  These include the use of small, finely crafted dovetails joining the drawer fronts and drawer backs to the drawer sides, the bottom boards running side to side, the presence of small glue blocks spaced evenly behind the drawer fronts and tightly spaced long glue blocks securing the drawer sides and drawer bottoms. Other decorative elements include the use of "robin's-egg" blue paint for the desk interior, the C-scroll returns and turned bosses at the tops of the legs.

There are a few related examples that are attributed to the workshops of John and Thomas Seymour; of these, a virtually identical desk-and-bookcase is illustrated in Vernon C. Stoneman, John and Thomas Seymour, Cabinetmakers in Boston 1794-1816 (Boston, 1959), pp. 130-131, pl. 64. Others include one in the Atlanta State House and is illustrated in Israel Sack, American Antiques from Israel Sack Collection, vol. II (New York), p. 358; one in the collection of Historic Deerfield and is illustrated in Dean A. Fales, Jr., The Furniture of Historic Deerfield (New York, 1976), p. 244, fig. no. 482.

Important Americana

|
New York