Federal Inlaid Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Attributed to John Aitken, Philadelphia, circa 1798
The shaped crest surmounted by three ball finials, above two glazed doors, over a fitted desk with a tambour roll top continuing to five drawers and an arched apron, raised on tapering straight legs. Height 8 feet 3 inches, width 45 inches, depth 28 inches.
Similar to a secretary bookcase ordered by George Washington from Aaitken and now located at Mt. Vernon
Washington's secretary is illustrated in Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley and Peggy A. Olley, Classical Splendor, Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2016, fig. 68
The authors also discuss Aitken's importance as a cabinet maker in what was then the capital of the United States (1790-1800), and the nation's largest city.
Descended from the Bowker Family, Philadelphia
Reifsnyder Collection, #695
Ginsburg & Levy Inc., New York
E.S. Holloway, American Furniture and Decoration, 1928, p. 129, pl. 87
House & Garden, July, 1927
Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury, MacMillan, New York, 1948, vol. pl. 738
C Estate of Helen R. Yellin
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