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Jesse Needham school bookcase desk, Randolph County, North Carolina. Walnut primary, poplar secondary. The carved pinwheel candle drawers, desk interior shaped drawers and fluted document doors, pitched pediment with dentil molding, and relief carved floral decoration in the pediment are all characteristics of the Jesse Needham school. The interior hidden drawer construction and spring release mechanism is similar to two documented desks attributed to Needham. The interior hidden drawer has the date "1812" inscribed in red pencil. Based on research from MESDA’s files, this is the only dated desk from the Needham school and the earliest dated piece from the entire group. MESDA’s records indicate this would be the second documented bookcase desk form from this school of cabinetmaking. For examples of Needham’s work, refer to 200 Years of the Visual Arts in North Carolina, p.106, figure 24 and p. 107, figure 25. A Needham chest on frame can be viewed in the MESDA journal, Winter 1999, volume XXV, Number 2, p.163. Appears to retain the original brasses. Inscriptions include shop construction marks throughout in red crayon, a medium seen on other pieces from this shop. Sliding partition behind prospect compartment contains red crayon inscription "[S] B" over "1812." The removable prospect compartment has writing on the walnut base which appears to read Bo[de].Document drawers are marked "Left Hand" and "Right Hand" respectively. Numbering is extant on some desk interior drawers. "Glass" is written on bottom board of bookcase. All of these inscriptions are in red crayon and appear to have been made at the time of manufacture. A modern block printing of the name J. HENEY is inscribed across the desk backboards. Condition – BOOKCASE: Refinished. All moldings original. Minor patch to rail above right door. Glass replaced. Original brass H-hinges with some fasteners replaced. Backboards with some modern nails added for strength. Tympanum may have originally had applied carvings flanking central applied flower. DESK: Refinished. Backboards have been removed in the past and reset with a combination of original nails and some added modern nails. Hidden compartment behind slide in prospect possibly originally fitted with drawers as in other desks from this shop. Minor wood separation to document drawer sides due to expected shrinkage. Some minor patching to side of right document drawer. Patches to fall board and case at hinge attachment. Original rosette bails, moved on one case drawer. Minor patches to drawer blades. Some rodent chew to secondary woods in drawers and drawer supports. Large case drawers with expected side buildup to compensate for typical friction loss. Drawer runners inverted due to wear. Drawer frames for 2nd and 3rd drawers appear to have been moved. Case possibly reduced in height. 2nd drawer of case original but likely reduced in height. Ogee feet facings appear to be old replacements with a couple of patches to rear facings. Foot blocking stained, reconfigured from original position, probably replaced. Dimensions 89 1/2" height x 44 1/2" width x 21" depth.