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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Culture:American
Title:bureau table
Date Made:1775-1790
Type:Furniture
Materials:wood: cherry, white pine; base metal: brass
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Springfield area
Measurements:overall: 29 1/2 in x 34 1/2 in x 19 5/8 in; 74.93 cm x 87.63 cm x 49.8475 cm
Accession Number:  HD 97.042
Credit Line:Museum Collections Fund
1997-42t.jpg

Description:
Block-front bureau table composed of a central recessed cabinet with an arched panel door and cove molded cornice; flanked with pilasters between two stacks of four drawers with blocked facades below a molded rectangular top with indented corners; and supported on four bracket feet. Block-front bureau tables are normally associated with the Boston area. In this instance, both the rural patron and craftsman were familiar with the genteel connotations and construction of the form, which includes a central safe or “prospect” below. This bureau table is a very significant illustration of this urban form made in the Connecticut Valley of western Massachusetts, probably the Springfield area, by a craftsman who trained in the vine-carved pilaster tradition attributed to Eliakim Smith (1735-1775) of Hadley, Mass. Several objects from this second-generation shop, which designed case furniture with Boston proportions and distinctive vine-carved pilasters, are known, many with histories in the Springfield area. For example, the Longmeadow Historical Society has a vine-carved desk-and-bookcase owned by Rev. Richard Salter Storrs of Longmeadow.

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