America, Massachusetts, Boston or vicinity, 18th century / Desk and bookcase / c. 1780America, Massachusetts, Boston or vicinity, 18th century
Desk and bookcase
c. 1780

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Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Dates/Places: America, Massachusetts, Boston or vicinity, 18th c
Creator Active Place: America, Massachusetts, Boston or vicinity, 18th c
Creator Name-CRT: America, Massachusetts, Boston or vicinity, 18th century
Title: Desk and bookcase
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1775
Creation End Date: 1785
Creation Date: c. 1780
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Furniture
Classification Term: Woodwork
Materials and Techniques: mahogany and pine, brass hardware, gilding
Dimensions: Overall: 241.9cm x 106cm x 56.5cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1990.96
Credit Line: Bequest of Mrs. Lawrence Hitchcock
Provenance: Col. Christopher Toppan (1735-1818), Hampton, New Hamsphire; his son Edmund Toppan (1777-1857); his daughter Sarah Jane Parker Toppan (b. 1822) who married Rev. Samuel J. Spalding, Newburyport, Massachusetts; their granddaughter Helen Chapin Hitchcock (Mrs. Lawrence).
Context: During the eighteenth century desks and bookcases were among the largest and most expensive pieces of furniture in a household. They were typically placed downstairs, in a back parlor or hall, and their owners were usually men of letters and accounts. These pieces consist of two parts: a lower division, usually a slant-top desk, and an upper cabinet that sits within moldings applied to the desk top. The upper cabinet often derives much of its inspiration from architectural forms.Like much New Englandfurniture of the later 1700s, the lower section of this piece is block-fronted, that is, it recedes in the center and protrudes at either side. Though some European precedents can be found for block fronting, it was clearly more popular on this side of the Atlantic.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1990.96
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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