A fine Federal Empire period butlers desk or butlers secretary in flame and bees wing mahogany veneer and solid mahogany. Often referred to as a secretary desk. Pine and maple secondary woods. Made around 1820/30s. The top being the more desirable thinner mahogany single board width with a conforming shape. Original with original hardware. A super find. If you want a Butlers desk for your home or collection, this is the one!. This is a New York piece which came from a very prominent collector.
Nicely carved front paw feet with acanthus leaf drape as popularized by Anthony Quervelle with detailed carving. The half pillars above the feet are carved acanthus leaf, with cross hatching. The drawer faces exhibit well chosen and well matched flame and bees wing mahogany veneers with banding and crossed corners which define the drawer fronts. We have three smaller top drawers two with convex contours and one flat face.
This is in the original finish which has been cleaned and waxed only. There are three small chips of veneer missing and expected wear to this piece. This is one of the best butlers desks I have seen. Well proportioned, well made, well chosen and applied veneers, detailed and fine carving on the columns and feet. The wool writing surface is original and should remain. It has not been cleaned or touched.
I always expect a hidden drawer in a piece like this or at least a drawer that does not appear to be a drawer. After sever hours of looking over the span of a couple of weeks I found it!!
Desk is 50.75 inches tall, 50 inches wide, and 23.5 inches deep.
When viewing items, you should take into account, for comparison purposes, the selection of the veneers, the overall form, extra attributes like the shaped top and fine carving rather than less refined carvings on many pieces, and many other characteristics. It is the whole that makes one item more desirable than the other. We must look carefully. An apple is not just an apple!
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