Desk-and-bookcase attributed to Cotton White (ca. 1774-1826) of Hatfield, Massachusetts. The upper section has a molded broken scroll pediment terminating in carved scroll ends. Two small square plinths atop the extreme left and right ends of the pediment and one central plinth once held finials, which are now missing. The bookcase has two unbeveled paneled doors that are held in place by exterior hinges attached to the outer perimeter of the bookcase doors, and the interior has non-adjustable shelves with a center divider. The desk section has a fall-front lid that opens to reveal a central prospect drawer with two applied and carved pilasters at the front and a secret drawer at the back. The prospect drawer is flanked on either side by four pigeonholes above two rows of drawers with serpentine-shaped fronts. The arrangement of the desk’s interior relates to another desk in Historic Deerfield’s collection (accession number: 1232) that is also attributed to Cotton White. The case has four graduated drawers with replaced brass pulls, and is supported by four bracket feet. The desk’s simple design is noteworthy as White's surviving work is predominantly represented by large pieces of case furniture with ornate carving and inlay made for wealthy patrons in western Massachusetts at the end of the eighteenth century.
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