Fine American Chippendale Mahogany Ball and Claw Slant Lid Desk Salem or Boston Massachusetts, c. 1770-90 - For Sale

Fine American Chippendale Mahogany Ball and Claw Slant Lid Desk Salem or Boston Massachusetts, c. 1770-90
Price: $9750.00
Fine American Chippendale Mahogany Ball and Claw Slant Lid Desk
Salem or Boston Massachusetts, c. 1770-90
Item # 120411EIU26

This listing is for a Fine Chippendale Period Ball and Claw Slant Lid Desk, Salem or Boston Area, Massachusetts circa 1770-90. It features wonderful dense grain solid board mahogany lid, rabbeting on both sides to complete the horizontal frame, lifting smoothly over replaced brass hinges and falling on two sliding mahogany lopers with original brass knobs to reveal a large writing surface and gallery of nine small drawers and four scalloped cubby holes. The drawers are each inscribed for where each belongs in the scheme of the desk, in pencil 1-9, and each is hand dovetailed with chamfered bottoms rabbeting into the drawer frame. The center drawer is a wonderful sunk 18-lobed shell carved design flowing into the two drawers below it in a form common in Massachusetts case pieces, each drawer face carved out of a solid piece of mahogany.

The case is crafted of solid single boards of mahogany along each side, dovetailed into the parallel-grained pine case bottom and through-dovetailed at the top. The back is constructed of three large pine boards, behind which a pine bar perpendicular to the boards to support the top to the bottom, dovetailed at both ends with a screw through the bottom. Carved solid molding runs along the bottom of the case with an applied scalloped skirt pendant at the center, reinforced from the back with rounded glued blocking.

Each drawer is graduated, each below larger proportionally to the one above, sliding in and out of the beaded frame. The white pine frame side rails are beaded on their top inner surfaces, dovetailed at the front and backs, the bottom boards running perpendicular to the case, chamfered along the edges and rabbeting into the frame. Each drawer has replaced batwing hardware with drilled holes close to the original holes, along with replaced locking hardware. There are no dust boards between drawers. Between each drawer, the beaded crossbars join the case with exposed dovetails on either side, much in the manner of Newport furniture.

The case rests over four bird's-talon claws and sharp-cornered knee'd feet, executed in a form commonly regionalized to Eastern Massachusetts, and flanked on each corner with scalloped returns. Each foot has it's original blocking, undisturbed and in solid outstanding condition. Uniquely, even the rear feet feature the four claw design, though the finishing work on the ball at the back side was less elegantly executed than the rest of the design. More common desks of Massachusetts will often feature only bracket rear feet, or when they possess all four carved feet the rear legs will regularly only have three claws instead of four to save on labor. This desk has attention shown in every square inch of the case, even the unappreciated areas where time spent does not necessarily pay off for the 18th Century craftsman.

This is an incredibly fine work of art with intense originality in almost every facet of the desk. It is an investment grade collector piece for anyone passionate about Eastern Massachusetts Early American craftsmanship. It is a strike point for any collection, and absolutely brings a room together. As a conversation piece that will never lose it's flavor and in outstanding condition, this is a piece that will be cherished in your family for generations to come.

Woods: Primary, Mahogany; Secondary, White Pine

Inscriptions: Shell carved drawer and the drawer below it penciled "M" at the back of the frame, possibly indicating M for "middle" as these are in the middle of the gallery. Most tiny drawers inscribed with correlating numbers on the bottoms, 1-9. Inside of the desk upright post has a pencil inscription, appearing to read "Joho".
Measurements:

44" wide at the feet, 40 3/8" wide at the case
22 1/2" deep at the feet, 20 5/8" deep at the case
43 3/8" high to top of case, 32 1/2" high to desk surface
Condition Report:
Refinished, scratches, minor filled areas, scars (particularly around hardware) and minor dings throughout. Batwing pulls and escutcheons replaced in nearly the same holes as the original hardware. Locks replaced. Hinges replaced with some patching. Runners added to underside of drawers as rabbets have lost some strength. Some presence of rose head nails, others are iron forged cut nails. Third drawer is without a lock. Back was removed at one point to add strength to the case, whereupon the back brace that dovetails into the base and top is also screwed into the back with a more modern screw. Back was then placed back on using late 19th century screws, probably the last time it was touched. No key. Some light sun bleaching, though the case is actually slightly darker in overall color.

For full archive of pictures and detailed descriptions, please view this item on our website at:

http://www.sillafineantiques.com/servlet/the-228/american-chippendale-antique-desk/Detail

Antique Furniture
Antique Desks & Secretaries
email   facebook   Measurements:

44" wide at the feet, 40 3/8" wide at the case
22 1/2" deep at the feet, 20 5/8" deep at the case
43 3/8" high to top of case, 32 1/2" high to desk surface
Condition Report:
Refinished, scratches, minor filled areas, scars (particularly around hardware) and minor dings throughout. Batwing pulls and escutcheons replaced in nearly the same holes as the original hardware. Locks replaced. Hinges replaced with some patching. Runners added to underside of drawers as rabbets have lost some strength. Some presence of rose head nails, others are iron forged cut nails. Third drawer is without a lock. Back was removed at one point to add strength to the case, whereupon the back brace that dovetails into the base and top is also screwed into the back with a more modern screw. Back was then placed back on using late 19th century screws, probably the last time it was touched. No key. Some light sun bleaching, though the case is actually slightly darker in overall color.

For full archive of pictures and detailed descriptions, please view this item on our website at:

http://www.sillafineantiques.com/servlet/the-228/american-chippendale-ant http://www.antiques.com/classified/1136861/Antique-Fine-American-Chippendale-Mahogany-Ball-and-Claw-Slant-Lid-Desk-Salem-or-Boston-Massachusetts--c--1770-90" target="_blank">twitter
Seller Details :
Silla Fine Antiques
Contact Details :
Email : sales@sillafineantiques.com
Phone : 717-658-8274

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