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The Lisle Desk-and-Bookcase: A Rhode Island Icon

American Furniture 2001

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Desk-and-bookcase associated with John Goddard, Newport, Rhode Island, ca. 1761. Mahogany with maple, poplar, red cedar, white pine, and yellow poplar. H. 96 1/2", W. 45 13/16", D. 26". (Courtesy, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Detail of the bookcase interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; Photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Detail of the desk interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Infrared photograph of the inscription on the back of a drawer in the writing compartment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Courtesy of Historic New England.)

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Infrared photograph of the inscription on the side of a drawer in the writing compartment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Courtesy of Historic New England.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Jonas Bergner, John Goddard’s house and shop, Newport, Rhode Island, before 1870. Watercolor on paper. (Courtesy, Newport Historical Society.)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Desk-and-bookcase, Newport, Rhode Island, 1760–1770. Mahogany with maple, red cedar, white pine, and yellow poplar. H. 97 7/8", W. 45 3/8", D. 25 1/2". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Detail of the interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 7.

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Desk-and-bookcase, Newport, Rhode Island, 1755–1770. Mahogany with chestnut, yellow poplar, red cedar, and white pine. H. 101 3/4", W. 43 1/8", D. 26". (Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Drawing showing detail of the interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 9. (Artwork, Wynne Patterson.)

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Desk-and-bookcase, Newport, Rhode Island, 1765–1785. Mahogany with cherry, chestnut, white pine, and yellow poplar. H. 106 3/4", W. 44 3/4", D. 24 7/8". (Courtesy, Yale University Art Gallery, Mabel Brady Garvan Collection.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Detail of the interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 11.

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Desk-and-bookcase, Newport, Rhode Island, 1765–1785. Mahogany with cherry, chestnut, and white pine. H. 113", W. 42 1/2", D. 25". (Courtesy, Christie’s.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Detail of the interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 13. (Courtesy, Israel Sack, Inc.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Desk-and-bookcase, Newport, Rhode Island, 1760–1770. Mahogany with maple, red cedar, white pine, and yellow poplar. H. 101", W. 45 1/2", D. 27". (Courtesy, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Detail of the bookcase interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15. ( Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Detail of the desk interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Desk-and-bookcase, Newport, Rhode Island, 1760–1770. Mahogany with cherry, chestnut, red cedar, white pine, yellow pine, and yellow poplar. H. 99 1/8", W. 44 5/8", D. 25 1/2". (Courtesy, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1915.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Detail of the interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 18.

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Desk-and-bookcase, Newport, Rhode Island, 1765–1785. Mahogany with cherry, chestnut, maple, white pine, and yellow poplar. H. 99", W. 39 7/8", D. 23 5/8". (Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, M. and M. Karolik Collection.)

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Detail of the interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 20.

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Desk-and-bookcase, Newport, Rhode Island, 1755–1770. Mahogany with cedrela, chestnut, maple, poplar, red cedar, white pine, and yellow poplar. H. 99 3/4", W. 44 1/2", D. 25 1/2". (Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Bayou Bend Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg.)

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Detail of the bookcase interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 22.

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Detail of the desk interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 22.

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Drawing showing the construction of the lower case of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. Adapted from Jeffrey P. Greene, American Furniture of the 18th Century. (Courtesy, Taunton Press).

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Detail of the foot construction of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Detail of the lower case interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Detail of the dovetail joints for a valance drawer and a larger drawer in the desk interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Detail of the rear surface of a valance drawer in the desk interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Detail of an applied block on the rear surface of an exterior drawer front of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Drawing showing the construction of the upper case of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. Adapted from Jeffrey P. Greene, American Furniture of the 18th Century. (Courtesy, Taunton Press.)

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Drawing showing the construction of the desk fallboard and bookcase door of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. Adapted from Jeffrey P. Greene, American Furniture of the 18th Century. (Courtesy, Taunton Press.)

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Detail of a quarter-column on the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 11.

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Detail of the carved shells on the fallboard of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 11.

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Detail of the interior of the lower case of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 11.

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Detail of the carved shells on the fallboard of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Detail of the pediment, doors, and a finial on the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Detail of a quarter-column on the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Detail of a removable side panel in the bookcase interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Detail of the front foot of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Detail of the carved shells on the fallboard of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 7.

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Detail of the carved shells on the fallboard of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Detail of a quarter-column on the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 44
    Figure 44

    Detail of the bookcase interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 45
    Figure 45

    Detail of the bookcase interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 46
    Figure 46

    Detail of the dovetailed joint for an exterior drawer of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 1. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 47
    Figure 47

    Detail of the dovetailed joint for an exterior drawer of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15. (Bequest of Martha B. Lisle.) www.risd.edu

  • Figure 48
    Figure 48

    Photograph showing the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 22 prior to conservation. (Courtesy, Robert W. Symonds Collection, Visual Resources, Winterthur Library.)