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Decorative Arts and Design

CULTURE American
MEDIUM Mahogany, sycamore
DATES 1900–1910
DIMENSIONS 37 3/4 x 29 x 22 in. (95.9 x 73.7 x 55.9 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS "9" impressed on back of both upper drawers. "7" upside down impressed on back of both lower drawers
SIGNATURE no signature
INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
CREDIT LINE H. Randolph Lever Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Lady's desk, primary wood: mahogany, mahogany veneers; secondary wood American sycamore, according to Gordon Salter analysis. Desk is supported by pierced, lyre-shaped supports on each end. Each support comprises an arched trestle with simple whorl feet and carved acanthus leaves above which rise matched whiplash tendrils form lyre shape. Between the tendrils is an open-heart shape with three pierced and carved leaves inside. Near the top of the sides, front, and back are carved acanthus leaves and above the heart shape a shallow-carved tulip with tendrils. A slightly arched cross stretcher joins the two supports. This stretcher is molded and has carving of whiplash tendrils on the front. In its center is a carved rose and leaves in the rococo revival manner. The front of the desk is bowed and comprises two drawers divided by a vertical molded divider. Each drawer has a molding along the bottom edge; the molding grows into a tulip with whiplash tendrils at the center of the desk and a small three-tendril flourish at the outer edge. Each drawer has a gadrooned glass knob. The edge of the desktop is molded. A separate super structure is attached to the back of the desktop. This comprises a round-cornered hood with two smaller drawers, similar to the larger drawers but not bowed and with daisies instead of tulips. A panel of carved daisies separates the two rounded inner edges of the drawers. Each drawer has a small gadrooned glass knob. Beneath the drawers is an open area and on each side of the desktop a short gallery projects from the side of the super structure. Each gallery comprises pierced and carved whiplash tendrils and a daisy. The superstructure is attached to the desktop by four dowels. Desktop screwed to structure. Interior of drawers are finished. Condition: Refinished with thick dark finish with many "bubbles". Piece of veneer missing from lower edge of back of proper left drawer front. Piece of wood removed for sample near center drawer runner, inside back of desk.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION American. Desk, 1900–1910. Mahogany, sycamore, 37 3/4 x 29 x 22 in. (95.9 x 73.7 x 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, H. Randolph Lever Fund, 81.56.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 81.56.1_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 81.56.1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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American. <em>Desk</em>, 1900–1910. Mahogany, sycamore, 37 3/4 x 29 x 22 in. (95.9 x 73.7 x 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, H. Randolph Lever Fund, 81.56.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 81.56.1_bw.jpg)