30 East Bryan Street Savannah, GA 31405 United States 912.232.1234
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$ 36,500

19th Century American Patented Wooten Desk with Provenance

Documentation Signed
Origin United States, Indiana
Period 19th Century
Materials Ebonized Walnut, Cast Bronze, Birdseye Maple, Felt
W. 43 in; H. 72 in; D. 28 in;
W. 109.22 cm; H. 182.88 cm; D. 71.12 cm;
Condition Excellent. Beautiful untouched condition with original finish and original components and hardware. Please note the the green felt writing surface shows wear.
Creation Date 1874
Description Important American Wooton cabinet desk labelled Wooton Desk Manf. Co., Indianapolis, 1874. This particular desk is a piece of our nation's history and was exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Bi-Centennial Exhibition, and The National Museum of History and Technology, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. Once offered by the renowned Wooten desk dealers Richard and Eileen Dubrow of New York, we are now offering it for sale in its all original untouched beautiful condition including the finish. We also include the business card of the first owner, a Mr. Warfel of Pennsylvania, and other provenance.

The Wooton Desk was sold all over the world and some of the its buyers included such names as John D. Rockefeller, Ulysses S. Grant, Joseph Pulitzer, Jay Gould, Charles Scribner and perhaps the most famous, Queen Victoria.

The exquisite double swinging door case features American walnut with burled and ebonized walnut panels on sides and front. The top gallery of inlaid and ebonized burled walnut is expertly carved, complete with turned finials. The doors easily swing open on six cast bronze hinges to reveal the intricate interior, comprised of a large inlaid tiger maple panel that drops down over the green felt writing surface. All forty cardboard filing compartments on the right hand door are in perfect condition with no replacements or repairs. The four drawers underneath the writing surface, as well as the five interior drawers are made of American birdseye maple. The back of the case is finished with molded panels so it can be viewed from all sides. The original cast hardware including mail slot, patent plaque, hinges, castors and pulls are an art form by themselves.
As an elegant piece of furniture, it made a statement about the businessman’s station in life. It’s unique and patented features included letterboxes, files and cubby holes, a complete office in a desk which could swing shut when the work day was over and be locked to ensure privacy.
Styles / Movements Aesthetic Movement, Americana, Revival
Book References Dubrow, Eileen and Richard, Charles, American Furniture of the 19th Century, New York: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1983.
Catalog References Walters, Betty Lawson, The King of Desks: Wooton’s Patent Secretary, Smithsonian Studies in History and technology #3, Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1969.
Article References Showalter, Camille, and Janice Driesbach, Wooton Patent Desks: A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place (1983)
Dealer Reference Number 61
Incollect Reference Number 263405
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