East Tennessee Federal desk and bookcase or secretary, figured walnut with poplar secondary wood. Bookcase section with cove molded cornice over a plain frieze and two single paneled doors, flanked by chamfered corners; 3 interior shelves with plate grooves. Diamond inlay at keyhole, molded base. Desk section with fall front, battened top and sides, opening to fitted interor with central plain prospect door, flanked by two vertical document drawers with molded edges, and two drawers over three cubbyholes on each side. Plain writing surface over four graduated drawers and a serpentine skirt, raised on tall flaring french feet. Brass pulls and plates appear original and are stamped with images of cotton bales with triple masted ship in the background, and the caduceus (medical) symbol. Possibly Knox County, Tenn., 1790-1810. Interior of top drawer has MESDA (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) label dated 9/12/82 ref. #11604. Exhibited, "Art of Tennessee," Frist Center for the Visual Arts, illustrated exhibit catalog p. 62 fig. 28. Also illustrated, "Art and Mystery of Tennessee Furniture" by Nathan Harsh and Derita Coleman Williams, ed. Tracey Parks, p. 103, fig. 60, and exhibited Cheekwood, 1971, "Made In Tennessee" exhibit. 94" H x 42" W x 21 1/2" D. Provenance: The living estate of Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin H. Caldwell, Nashville, TN, purchased in Nashville circa 1965, with a long history of being from Knox County, Tenn. CONDITION: Mid-molding that surrounds the base of the top appears to be a 19th century addition. Replaced lower backboard and lower right rear foot backboard replaced. Old patch to top of desk where drawer lock broke out, old patches around later hinges on fall front. Old, possibly original hinges to top bookcase section doors. Feet facings broken and reattached, but appear original. Some oxidation to brasses. Both sides of lower case have full shrinkage splits; right side has patch repair to split. Bottoms of drawer sides built up.
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