Desk and bookcase

Date: 1760–90

Geography: Made in Newport, Rhode Island, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Mahogany, chestnut, white pine, yellow pine,
tulip poplar, cedar

Dimensions: 99 1/8 x 44 1/8 x 25 3/4 in. (251.8 x 112.1 x 65.4 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1915

Accession Number: 15.21.2


Newport secretary desks exhibit the boldest use of the block-and-shell motif, with the blocking of the lower drawers continued upward on the bookcase unit. These monumental work stations were also symbols of their owners' business achievements. Indeed, each of the four Brown brothers, the leading merchants in late eighteenth-century Providence, Rhode Island, owned one.