Salem Block Front Secretary Desk

Emulating the craftsmanship of little-known cabinetmaker Henry Rust (c. 1762 to 1800), this stately Chippendale block front secretary is Tommy’s faithful reproduction of the finest of the Salem secretaries. It features a blocked desk lid and drawers, ball-and-claw feet, undulating brackets, arched door panels, fluted columns, realistic ornamental scallop shells, finely carved pinwheels, twisted finials, and a gooseneck pediment. The lower drawers were carved from a solid piece of mahogany to create their boxy shape.

Completed when Tommy was learning the principles of traditional case construction at Boston’s North Bennet Street school, the bookcase’s arched doors and pigeon-hole assembly clearly delineate the decorative relationship between the top and bottom halves.

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