Lot 460: House of Representatives Desk
December 3, 2016
New Orleans, LA, USALive Auction
Description: Rare American House of Representatives Carved Oak Desk, c. 1857, stenciled label of Doe Hazelton, Boston, after a design by Thomas Ustick Walter, gallery centered with Federal shield, lift-top writing surface, trellis back, scrolled brackets on modified trestle base, casters; together with possibly original tin lidded containers and green glass inkwells, h. 36 5/8 in., w. 29 1/2 in., d. 21 in.; accompanied by a copy of the 1952 Sloan catalogue cover and entry. Provenance: Estate of Frank C. Littleton, Oak Hill (James Monroe House), Loudon, VA; C.G. Sloan & Co. Auctioneers, Dec. 9-13, 1952, lot 189; private collection. Note: This desk follows a design by Thomas Ustick Walter for the House of Representatives Chamber in use after 1857. Desks in the chamber were of two forms: a two-compartment desk and a single seat desk such as the lot featured here. An illustration of the United States House Chamber in the March 1865 edition of Frank Leslie's Illustrated News announcing the passage of the 13th Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery depicts a desk like the one seen here in detail. Ref.: Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, “Art, Artifacts, and Architecture.” http://artandhistory.house.gov/art_artifacts/capitol-furniture/walter-furniture.aspx; “A Real Rare Victorian Mystery,” http://rarevictorian.com/2008/06/a-real-rare-victorian-mystery-part-iii.html.