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Decorative Arts and Design

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Artwork Details


Thomas Spencer (American, Rhode Island, 1752-1840), designer and maker


ca. 1775


Mahogany, chestnut, yellow poplar, white pine, and replaced brasses

Accession #



91 1/2 x 41 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 307


This rare eighteenth century mahogany Chippendale desk and bookcase is one of about one hundred known secretaries from this period. Its fine proportions, construction, woods, and stylistic elements such as the closed pediment, applied tympanum panels, distribution of interior drawers, and bracket feet indicate a Rhode Island origin, recently confirmed to be from maker Thomas Spencer of East Greenwich. An added feature of historical interest is an inscription under one of the drawers that traces the ownership history from the American Revolutionary War hero General Nathanael Greene.


Gift in loving memory of Nancy Fraser Parker by her husband William A. Parker, Jr., and her children William A. Parker, III, Isobel P. Mills, and Richard C. Parker, in honor of her devotion to decorative arts and love of beautiful furniture