Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction - Session I

Fri, Feb 12, 2021 09:00AM EST
Lot 678

Rare Boston William and Mary Desk and Bookcase

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

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
circa 1720, upper case with highly figured walnut arched and paneled doors opening to a finely fitted interior, with ten deeply shaped blocked small drawers, 28 cubby holes, over two pull out candle slides, lower case with similarly bookmatched figured veneered fallboard opening to finely fitted interior with inlaid and paneled tulip flower inlaid prospect door, flanked by reeded document drawers and seven additional drawers over a lidded till, over four bookmatched veneered dovetailed drawers, white pine secondary throughout, set on ball feet, 76-1/2 x 37 x 22 in. - Note: This impressive desk and bookcase is among the most fully developed examples to survive from early 18th century Boston.  - Provenance: top of lower case with old label "Joseph Sheldon 364 Manfield ... New Haven, Conn.", numerous inscriptions and dates on document drawers relating to the Barker family, early 19th century, including George H. Barker and Samuel Barker; purchased from Philip Budrose, 1971; Property from the Collection of Dudley and Constance Godfrey


very good integrity and condition overall, brasses replaced, three small drawers in upper case replaced, candle slides likely replaced, expected veneer cracks and checking with scattered repairs, some warping and cracks to fallboard (patches at hinges but fallboard is original), some valances possibly restored. Period feet are possibly original. Feet are cottonwood by microanalysis, and as such would have required different surface treatment from the rest of the desk, likely ebonizing of faux finishing. Finish microscopy was inconclusive, but there is no evidence of other feet, or of the desk having been without feet, supporting the possibility that the feet are original.