This remarkable piece is one of the few surviving Colonial New York desk-and-bookcases. From its beautiful pagoda-like flattened bonnet to its masterfully carved ball-and-claw feet this secretary stands as a monument of Colonial New York cabinetry. A very closely related piece is in the collection of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State (see Clement E. Conger and Alexandra W. Rollins, Treasures of State: Fine and Decorative Arts in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State, (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1991), p. 187, no. 98). Another desk-and-bookcase from the same shop was exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York in 1957 (see V. Isabelle Miller, Furniture by New York Cabinetmakers: 1650 to 1860, (New York: Museum of the City of New York, 1956), p. 37, no. 48). This desk-and-bookcase originally belonged to Dr. John Bard (1716-1799) the progenitor of John Bard who founded Bard College. It unfortunately appears to be lacking its original detachable bonnet unlike the currently offered lot which still retains it.
Top two drawers of desk reveneered, original mirrors replaced, bust replaced. Hinges and pulls replaced. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.