Arader Galleries

A Chippendale Mahogany Secretary

$ 45,000.00
A Chippendale Mahogany Secretary
Philadelphia, circa 1770
With an upper and lower section and fitted Interior
W. 42” D. 22” H. 8’ 11”
This handsome desk-and-bookcase exhibits many of the best characteristics of the Chippendale style as it moved beyond the elaborate curves and ornamentation of earlier rococo taste, and into a more architectural, classical phase. The upper section has a triangular broken pediment with molded detail and centers a finial carved as an urn issuing flame. The arched mirrored doors are flanked by pilasters with fluting, all below a distinct and sophisticated breakfronted frieze.

The lower section is marked by a strong block form with rectangular drawers in various sizes, all raised on bracket feet typical of the period. Both the upper and lower sections open to elaborately-fitted secretary compartments, including small drawers and pigenholes with valanced aprons, punctuated by line inlay. The interior prospect door of the upper section is inlaid with a broken pediment motif which evokes the real one atop the piece.

The offered pieces have an elegance and solidity in its proportion, likely made to complement the interiors and architecture of the original owner’s residence. Such a person would surely have held prominence and wealth in order to the commissioned this secretary from an urban cabinetmaker well-versed in the designs of the English furniture designer Thomas Chippendale, as interpreted in colonial America.