Desk and bookcase

about 1770–85
George Bright (American, 1726–1805)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Catalogue Raisonné

Randall 64

Dimensions

252.7 x 109.2 x 61 cm (99 1/2 x 43 x 24 in.)

Accession Number

56.1194

Medium or Technique

Mahogany, white pine, glass

On View

Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Gallery (Gallery 132)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Case furniture and boxes

This imposing, bombé (swelled base) desk-and-bookcase represents the pinnacle of the Rococo style in Boston. From its massive, claw-and-ball feet to the eagle finial at the top, the piece is embellished with costly carving that represents a level of lavish ornamentation not ordinarily seen on Boston furniture. Bright, known as “the neatest workman in town,” signed his masterpiece on one of its drawers. He made it for Boston’s Judge Samuel Barrett as a wedding present to Barrett’s daughter Ann.

Inscription

On top of lower case: "Thom . . . [?]"

Signed

On the bottom of the left bottom drawer of the interior is the inscription in chalk " . . . Ge [?] Bright."

Provenance

Samuel Barrett (Boston, 1738-1798) to his daughter, Ann Barrett (b. 1774) at the time of her marriage in January 1792 to Dr. Isaac Green (b. 1759) in Windsor, Vermont; By descent throught the family until 1956. Bequest of Miss Charlotte Hazen, 1956 (Accession Date December 13, 1956)

Credit Line

Bequest of Miss Charlotte Hazen