1420
1420

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT MASSACHUSETTS COLLECTION

THE IMPORTANT CLARK FAMILY QUEEN ANNE HIGHLY FIGURED MAPLE CHILD'S SLANT FRONT DESK-ON-FRAME, LONDONDERRY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, CIRCA 1734
Estimation
50 000100 000
Lot. Vendu 62,500 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
1420

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT MASSACHUSETTS COLLECTION

THE IMPORTANT CLARK FAMILY QUEEN ANNE HIGHLY FIGURED MAPLE CHILD'S SLANT FRONT DESK-ON-FRAME, LONDONDERRY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, CIRCA 1734
Estimation
50 000100 000
Lot. Vendu 62,500 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Americana

|
New York

THE IMPORTANT CLARK FAMILY QUEEN ANNE HIGHLY FIGURED MAPLE CHILD'S SLANT FRONT DESK-ON-FRAME, LONDONDERRY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, CIRCA 1734
appears to retain its original surface and cast brass hardware; inscribed on proper left letter drawer Helen E. Schrow Everett Mass Feb. 22 1893
Height 39 3/4 in. by Width 26 in. by Depth 16 in.
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Provenance

James Clark (1691-1768) m. Elizabeth Fulton (1697-1732), Londonderry, New Hampshire;
Samuel Clark (1726-1792) m. Mary Folsom, Londonderry, New Hampshire;
John Clark (1761-1817) m. Sally Sarah Gray (1773-1857), Acworth, New Hampshire;
Judieth Sleeper Clark (1805-1859) m. Robert E. Clark (1791-1851), Unity, New Hampshire;
Sophia Judith Clark (1837-1915) m. Henry Schrow (1832-1919), Unity, New Hampshire;
Helen Elizabeth Schrow (1875-1964) m. Edward LeBaron (1873-1961), Everett, Massachusetts;
William Richmond, William's Antique Shop, Old Greenwich, Connecticut;
Acquired by William Richmond’s brother, Jacob Richmond, who was a prominent attorney in western Massachusetts. Jacob and his family resided in a large Historic Home built in 1791 by General Alexander Field, and the present lot (as well as another important Child’s Desk, lot 1419) were part of an important collection of American furniture formed by Jacob Richmond and his wife primarily during the 1950s and 1960s from the advice of his brother William. The present desk has remained in the "period rooms" of the Richmond residence In Massachusetts for nearly 60 years until its arrival in New York for the current auction;
by descent to his son, Robert Richard, the current owner.

Description

Many American cabinetmakers were ingenious with their creations.  This exceptional figured maple child’s desk-on-stand is the embodiment of their wonderful ingenuity. Given the care that went into crafting this desk, the cabinetmaker most certainly had a close association with its recipient.   The cabinetmaker selected the most brilliantly figured maple to make the case and drawer faces and they then fitted the interior with drawers, a prospect area, and even vertical letter drawers.  The cabinetmaker’s usage of a complexly molded base molding with a scalloped edge further energizes the desk’s appearance.
The child, for whom this desk was made, was quite fortunate.  Their parent, assuming that their child would outgrow the small desk, had commissioned apparently from the same cabinetmaker a lower case which the desk could be placed upon; a child’s desk-on-stand.  Its idiosyncratic construction methods suggest that the craftsman who made this desk-on-frame had not made this form before.  The cabinetmaker made a unique joint by having the base molding of the lower case cross over the apex of the cabriole leg’s knee.  Generally, pieces that have base moldings are not crafted with cabriole legs.  A related base molding joint also appears on much later Dunlap desks with cabriole leg (see Charles S. Parsons, The Dunlaps & Their Furniture, (Manchester, NH: Currier Gallery of Art, 1970)).  A child’s desk in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (acc. no. 42.139) had a slightly later taller frame made for it in order to elevate it up (see Morrison H. Heckscher, American Furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985), p. 265-5, no. 172.
This remarkable desk-on-stand stayed in the same family for 225 years.  When it was purchased from Mrs. Edward LeBaron it was accompanied with a note that identified the desk was made in 1734 and descended through the Clark family of Unity, New Hampshire.  The first Clark to live near Unity was John Clark (1761-1817) of Acworth, New Hampshire which is only eight miles away.  Given the proposed date of manufacture, it is however much more likely that the desk was made for his father Samuel Clark (1726-1792) who live in Londonderry, New Hampshire and would have been 8 years old at the time he received this desk.
The brilliance of regional cabinetmakers was their ability to use standard forms as a foundation of design and then create wonderful new objects, that in this instance, transcend the norm and place it as a masterpiece of American colonial design.

Important Americana

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New York