Desk and bookcase


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 753

The blocked, tripartite desk drawers and shell-carved fall-front provide a sturdy foundation for the towering bookcase with a grand arched pediment. Behind the bookcase doors lie cubbyholes and drawers in which business and household records were stored. Many colonial Rhode Island families made their livelihoods through the transatlantic exchange of enslaved people, sugar, and other commodities. This monumental workstation embodies the superior craftsmanship of Newport cabinetmakers while implicating the destructive commerce and consumption of the Triangle Trade.

Desk and bookcase, Mahogany, chestnut, white pine, yellow pine, yellow poplar, cedar; brass, American

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