Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction - Session II | November 12, 2022

Sat, Nov 12, 2022 09:00AM EST
Lot 694

Rare Philadelphia Classical Figured Secretaire Abattant

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 1825, fine figured veneers and ormolu mounts, of architectural form with stepped top over single frieze drawer, drop front secretary flanked by burlwood veneered and ormolu mounted columns, deeply paneled lower doors flanked by pilasters opening to four interior drawers, fall front opening to finely fitted amphitheater interior with highly figured bird's eye maple veneers, leather lined writing surface, set on original leaf carved lion's paw feet, finely constructed with poplar and pine secondary, 62 x 36 x 22 in.


This rare secretaire a abattant belongs to a small group of related fall front secretaries made in Philadelphia. The group is discussed in Charles Venable, Germanic Craftsman and Furniture Design in Philadelphia, 1820-1850, Chipstone, American Furniture, 1998. Among the closely related known examples include:

Dallas Museum of Art (1985.B.51):

Chipstone Museum Collection (2001.4):

Formerly in the Kaufman This secretary discussed in American Antiques in the Kaufman Collection, pages 222-223

Chipstone article: American Furniture, 1998 . Venable, ?Germanic Craftsmen and Furniture Design in Philadelphia, 1820-1850?, page 62

Background on Important Private Collection from Boston:
I have been working with this collector for over 25 years, both in the initial acquisition of the objects and overseeing their conservation as needed. With a keen eye for quality and design, and a deep passion for all things classical, he has quietly amassed a top-notch collection of American furniture and decorative arts. The collection encompasses outstanding examples from the leading cabinetmakers of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, representing excellence in form and proportions, condition, wood quality, and carving. It also includes rare objects that are among the best of their kind. Now, with the downsizing of one of his properties, the offerings in this catalog are coming to market to find new owners who share a love for this remarkable period in American furniture history.
Clark Pearce,
Advisor and Consultant to Collectors and Institutions

Provenance: Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent, acquired through Jed Johnson; Property from an Important Boston Collection


finely crafted and in excellent condition overall, scattered typical veneer losses and repairs, some checking and minor repairs and color retouch to interior drawer facing and lower cabinet, original feet in good condition and possibly retaining traces of verdigris, minor repair at one rear foot attachment, break and repair at one lower door hinge, Cupid and Venus ormolu mounts appear original but possibly reset

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