Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Bentside spinet

Maker:
John Harris (active ca. 1730–69)
Date:
1769
Geography:
Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Mahogany, mahogany veneer, white oak, birch, maple, cherry, white cedar, white pine
Dimensions:
32 3/4 x 79 3/8 x 30 1/2 in. (83.2 x 201.6 x 77.5 cm)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, Friends of the American Wing Fund, Sansbury-Mills, Dodge, and Pfeiffer Funds, and funds from various donors, 1976
Accession Number:
1976.229
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Spinets were so rarely made in colonial America that in 1769, when this example was finished, the Boston Gazette reported: "A few days since was shipped for Newport, a very curious Spinnet, being the first ever made in America, the performance of the ingenious Mr. John Harris, of Boston (Son of the late Mr. Joseph Harris, of London, Harpsichord and Spinnet Maker), and in every respect does Honour to that Artist".
Inscription: inscribed in brown ink on nameboard in Gothic script: John Harris. Boston New England fecit; engraved on paper card attached to spinet lock's iron key: William Crooke; inscribed on the back in brown ink: Key to / Spinnet
Francis Malbone, Newport, Rhode Island, until 1769; his daughter, Mary Malbone Crook, 1769–died 1796; her sister, Elizabeth Malbone Breese, 1796–died 1832; her son, Thomas Breese, 1832–died 1846; his son, Francis Malbone Breese, 1846–died 1912; his niece, Elizabeth Malbone Breese Mellvane, Downington, Pennsylvania, 1912–before 1941; David Stockwell; Mr. and Mrs. Jess Pavey, Detroit, Michigan, after 1941; Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Robb, Buffalo, New York, until 1975; Israel Sack Inc., New York, until 1976
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