East Tennessee Butler's desk, cherry primary, poplar and yellow pine secondary, with attributes similar to the Burgner school of cabinetmakers. Elaborate scrolled backsplash with carved volutes, over a rectangular top with applied reeded molding. Overhanging top drawer flanked by tombstone carved stiles opens to a fitted butler's desk interior, over three graduated dovetailed drawers having plain round wood knobs and flanked by reeded pilasters terminating in plinths; all resting on turned tapered feet. Desk section features a fitted interior including prospect section having two central pigeonholes with shaped openings, flanked by hidden document drawers with reeded fronts. One of the interior drawers has an ink inscription from the first owner reading "William A. Henderson papers in this drawer". Underside of interior appears to have originally been set with a stringed instrument which was strummed with a quill when the top desk drawer was opened. 55" H x 47 1/8" W x 22" D. Second quarter of 19th century. Note: 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 Counties, 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). Provenance: Originally found in a Sevier County, TN estate with ties to William Alexander Henderson. He was the son of early Sevier County, TN pioneers William and Mary Cannon Henderson who settled in the Pigeon Forge area of Sevier County. William Henderson (the father) represented Sevier County in the HOuse of Representative of the 22nd TN General Assembly in Nashville between 1837 – 1839. Note: A similar style desk signed by Burgner with stringed instrumentation was sold by our auction house in 2015: https://caseantiques.com/item/lot-120-burgner-greene-co-tn-musical-desk-dated-1819/. CONDITION: Overall good condition, possibly retains the original finish. Case with general use wear and some stains and scratching. Patch noted to upper right corner of top drawer, losses to both front corners of top drawer. Knobs are likely replacements.
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