This highly figured desk/bookcase is composed of beautifully figured
mahogany. This is strongly illustrated in the lower two doors, which
are flanked by bottle drawers with oval inlays of figured birch.
There are a number of upper case drawers, which is unusual and all
are bordered by a figured mahogany crossbanding above delicately
reeded legs. Please enlarge the main image to illustrate.
The interior of the upper case is truly a delight
with bird's eye maple drawers above a small bookcase. If you enlarge
the detailed images below, the bird's eye maple is vibrantly expressed,
as are the side panels on the lower case. Obviously, the cabinetmaker
here had a good supply of some wonderful bird's eye maple and wasn't
afraid to use it. The upper case glass doors are of a typical mullion
A related desk of this general form with the use of
ovals is illustrated in Arts
of the Federal Period 1785-1825: A Loan Exhibition . Note
that a fabric covering is installed behind the glass. Interestingly,
our example has rods that the prior owner used to install fabric
(which we have), but we felt the beautiful bird's eye maple drawers
should be revealed and not hidden. Another related example can be
found in Israel Sack's Sept. 1989 catalog, Opportunities
in American Antiques.
We also note, from the son of the former owner,
that this desk was purchased in 1925 from Israel Sack in Marblehead,