Fall-front secretary

DATE:
c. 1815–1830
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Mahogany, cherry, yellow poplar, pine, maple, ebony, and gilt bronze
CLASSIFICATION:
Furnishings
DIMENSIONS:
62 3/4 × 36 × 21 1/8 in. (1 m 59.39 cm × 91.44 cm × 53.66 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
American Art - 19th Century, Level 4
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Collection, Anonymous gift in memory of Frederick M. Mayer
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1985.B.51

General Description

With its figured veneers, gilded mounts, and classically inspired columns, this fall-front secretary represents one of the most popular European desk forms of the early 19th century, especially in Germany and France. Because such desks were not popular in England, their appearance in Philadelphia must have resulted from continental influence. Some fall-front desks were imported from Germany into Philadelphia, and designs for them came over with immigrant German cabinetmakers. Construction features and the use of two-toned veneers suggest this example may have been made by a German-trained craftsman.

Excerpt from

Kevin W. Tucker, DMA unpublished material, Label text (1985.B.51), 2006.