Desk and bookcase

About 1755–70

Object Place: Newport, Rhode Island, United States

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 62


258.44 x 101.6 x 66.04 cm (101 3/4 x 40 x 26 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany, chestnut, red cedar, white pine, yellow-poplar

On View

Marilyn and John F. Keane Family Gallery (Gallery 127)




Case furniture and boxes

Six-shell blockfront desk and bookcase

Although related in form to the other desk-and-bookcase in this gallery, this example varies in its details from that piece and other members of the group. For instance, it is the only example with a single finial, without quarter columns in the upper case, and with un-carved centers of the shells on the lid of the desk. James Helme left this desk to Elijah Reynolds Potter of South Kingston, Rhode Island, who in 1835 bequeathed it to his son, Thomas Mawney Potter, a noted antiquarian.


Traditionally belonged originally to Elisha Potter, Sr. of Kingston, R.I., in whose family it descended; 1940, gift of Bernon E. Helme and Nathaniel Helme (Accession Date November 14, 1940)

Credit Line

Gift of Bernon E. Helme and Nathaniel Helme