An early inscription in Dutch inside the lid recording a business transaction points to a New York origin for this desk, which is reputed to have been found in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. The use of gumwood, a wood that found favor in New York City and environs for furniture and interior woodwork during the early decades of the eighteenth century, supports such an attribution. No comparable piece is known. The turnings appear to derive from French prototypes and the desk may have been made by a Huguenot craftsman—a distinct possibility in New York around 1700.
Inscription: written in chalk on inside cover: 1695 Ocktober 12 gelient den P-Q maule Schenk 5 pont; written in green ink, on inside cover: [pounds symbol] 322 / 50
Harry Mack, Brooklyn, 1922; Arthur W. Clement, Brooklyn, 1922–1944
Artist: Possibly from the Workshop of Duncan Phyfe (1770–1854)Date: 1835–45Medium: Mahogany, mahogany veneer, gilt brass, mirror glass, marble, ivory with white pine, mahogany, yellow poplarAccession: 1983.225On view in:Gallery 738