Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Collection of Jean and Jim Barrow | May 20, 2023

Sat, May 20, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 124

Exceptional Federal Inlaid Mahogany Valuables Box with Drawer

Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Baltimore or Annapolis, Maryland, 1790-1805, appears to have an early pencil inscription or signature on bottom board (not fully legible), top with barber pole inlay centering a figured mahogany panel, surrounded by radiating veneers with additional line and barber pole inlay, open interior, front with conforming oval barber pole inlay centering a dynamic shaded ruffled conch shell patera inlaid with lightwood surround, single finely dovetailed drawer with inlaid false double front, above checkerboard scalloped skirt with lightwood fan inlay, set on French feet, 10 x 13 x 7-1/2 in.

Literature: Illustrated in Israel Sack, Inc., American Furniture from the Israel Sack Collection, vol. 9, pg. 2492.

Note: Distinguished by its figured veneers and dramatic inlays, this box stands among the finest known surviving Federal examples of its type. As noted in the Christie's catalog, when the box last appeared on the market, it is "a true gem of American craftsmanship...a rare example of the form and replicates in miniature the refined cabinetry of Federal-era Baltimore and Annapolis. Meticulously delineated and shaded, the conch shell inlay points to the work of a specialist inlay maker, who, based on surviving examples, supplied cabinet makers working in these two American cities." Related conch shell inlays can be found on the works of John Shaw of Annapolis and William Patterson of Baltimore, among others. For related works, see William Voss Elder and Lou Bartlett, John Shaw: Cabinetmaker of Annapolis, catalog no. 43, 44, 55, and Priddy III, Flanigan, and Weidman, "The Genesis of Neoclassical Style in Baltimore Furniture", American Furniture, 2000, pg. 83-84, fig. 36-39.


excellent condition throughout, minor checking to veneers, small stain at top, some small inlay losses, including at rear corners of top and one front corner of case, feet generally good and retaining most original blocking, one front and one rear foot likely old restorations

Israel Sack, Inc., New York, 1989;
Collection of Martin Wunsch, sold Christie's, New York, September 22, 2014, lot 15 for $93,750;
Collection of Jean and Jim Barrow