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American Decorative Arts

Desk and Bookcase


Mahogany, eastern white pine

95 7/8 × 45 3/16 × 24 3/16 in. (243.6 × 114.7 × 61.5 cm)
other (Lower case): 40 13/16 × 21 15/16 in. (103.7 × 55.7 cm)
other (open): 35 5/8 in. (90.5 cm)
other (Upper case): 38 7/8 × 11 1/16 in. (98.7 × 28.1 cm)
Bequest of Doris M. Brixey
This desk and bookcase, with its richly figured wood and scrolled pediment top, represents a conservative furniture tradition in the second half of the eighteenth century. Blockfront facades, with recessed midsections and forward-swelling side panels, are found on furniture from New England. The slightly rounded corners on the blocking of the top drawer, the short claw-and-ball feet, and the double-ogee panels on the doors make this an impressive Boston example.
Made in Boston, Massachusetts
On view
18th century

Philip Flayderman, Boston, MA; acquired at auction in 1929 by Richard DeWolfe Brixey (1880-1943), New York; by descent to his daughter Doris Brixey (d. 1983). Bequest in 1984 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Anderson Galleries and American Art Association, New York, Colonial Furniture, Silver, and Decorations: The Collection of the Late Philip Flayderman, sale cat. (January 2–4, 1930), 196–97.

Aaron Marc Stein, “English and American Furniture in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Richard deWolfe Brixey,” Fine Arts 18 (December 1931): 38, fig. 6.

F. Lewis Hinckley, A Directory of Antique Furniture: The Authentic Classification of European and American Designs for Professionals and Connoisseurs (New York: Crown Publishers, 1953), 342, fig. 1076.

F. Lewis Hinckley, A Directory of the Historic Cabinet Woods (New York: Crown Publishers, 1960), 123, fig. 118.

“Acquisitions 1984,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 39, no. 3 (Winter 1986): 76.

Gerald W. R. Ward, American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988), 335–37, 338–39, no. 175, ill.

Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art, “Art, Lux, et Veritas: “Personal Responses to Collections at Yale”,” Art, Lux, et Veritas (2013): 45–46.

“Art, Lux, et Veritas,” Art, Lux, et Veritas (2013): 44, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.