Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Desk and bookcase

Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Mahogany, white pine
93 1/2 x 45 5/8 x 24 5/8 in. (237.5 x 115.9 x 62.5 cm)
Credit Line:
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1918
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 717
According to late-nineteenth-century tradition, this desk was in George Washington’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during the Siege of Boston (April 1775–March 1776). Consequently, it was exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago as “Washington’s desk.” It is the only known piece of American furniture to combine the bombé and blockfront forms. A later collector replaced the original mirror-glass doors in the upper section with wood panels.
Inscription: inscribed in chalk on bookcase bottom board: Boston / H. Rechards; inscribed on desk bottom board: H. Rechards
William Greenleaf, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, until died 1803; his daughter, Elizabeth Greenleaf Pope, 1803–died 1841; her son, Thomas Pope, 1841–1872; his son, William Greenleaf Eliot Pope, 1841–1881; R. J. Lackland, St. Louis, 1881–1892; Reverend Edward R. Pope, Rochester, Minnesota, 1892–1893; George S. Palmer, New London, Connecticut, until 1918
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