Early labeled East Tennessee Federal desk by cabinetmaker, J. C. Burgner (John C. Burgner, Horse Creek Community, Greene & Washington Counties, Tennessee). Label inside prospect door inscribed with ink and decorative motifs, “Made by J. C. Burgner for William Paton September the 8 1819”. Cherry primary with tiger maple and various burl veneers, yellow pine and poplar secondary. Tiger maple top molding with wide band over one large drawer with a fitted butler’s desk interior over four graduated dovetailed drawers with cockbeading, transitioning into an elaborate shaped skirt with highly figured burl veneers, splayed French feet. The top desk drawer has figured cherry veneers with the center veneer panel having a circular burl pattern repeated on the interior prospect drawer and flanking candle drawers. The prospect drawer opens to a an upper compartment with a painted grill pattern and lower drawer. The underside of top set with a stringed instrument which can be strummed with a quill when the top desk drawer is opened. 50″ H x 43 1/4″ W x 18″ D. Notes – Five Burgner brothers, including John C., Jacob F., Henry, Christian, and Daniel F., were cabinetmakers primarily in the Horse Creek community of Greene and Washington Co., Tennessee from 1817 until 1902. John C. Burgner maintained a “waste book” detailing the daily operations of the business, including information on furniture forms produced as well as recordings for some of the pieces sold. The Burgners made pieces ranging from $8 to $50, in a wide range of forms. This cabinetmaking shop was known in the region for the incorporation of highly figured woods including curly maple, cherry, and walnut (source information courtesy Daniel Ackermann, Associate Curator, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts). Condition: Older refinished surface, wooden knobs are replacements. Rear right foot previously broken and glued with minimal loss, compartments inside the prospect door indicate a shallow upper compartment drawer is now missing, minimal loss to cockbeading on molding and drawers, some of the drawers with slight build up on drawer sides, some losses to bottom edge of desk drawer where brass brackets have rubbed, a few strings on the underside of stringed instrument missing.
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