American, born England, 1738–1818; 1771–1848

Lady’s Tambour Writing Desk

Date: 1793 - 1798

John Seymour and his son, Thomas, were Boston’s preeminent cabinetmakers in the 1790s and 1800s. Among the furniture they made, the lady’s writing desk is the ultimate form, testament to these makers’ immense talent as artists in wood. This desk closely follows the English version of a French design. The tambour, or sliding, doors at the top were made by gluing thin vertical strips of wood to heavy canvas panels. Pigeonholes inside the cabinet are painted a vivid blue, a hallmark of John Seymour’s work.

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Medium: Mahogany, white pine, oak, enameled and brass hardware, and bone

Dimensions: H: 41 x W: 38 x D: 14 1/4 in.

Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Accession: 1108

Collection: Julian Wood Glass Jr. Collection

Category: Furniture - American

Tags: Mahogany , Bone , Desk , Tambour , Women , Boston

Purchased October 5, 1964 from John S. Walton. Illustrated: "John and Thomas Seymour Furniture" by Vernon Stoneman; and "Antiques Magazine" July, 1954, page 4.