About this artwork
This architecturally inspired secretary was originally owned by David Sears (1787–1871), a prominent merchant and landowner, whose house, designed by Alexander Parris (1780–1852), still stands at 42 Beacon Street, Boston, as the Somerset Club. An 1822 perspective drawing of the home shows a double-columned portico with composite capitals similar to those of the secrétaire, epitomizing the American interpretation of the late French Empire style. The simple form of the exterior highlights the luxuriousness of its materials and also belies a complicated interior of intricate drawers and shelves of various sizes.
- Artist unknown
- Secrétaire à abattant
- c. 1820–1825
- Mahogany, mahogany veneer, pine, black marble, ormolu, and brass
- 145.4 × 133 48.4 cm (57 1/4 × 52 3/8 × 19 1/6 in.)
- Gift of the Antiquarian Society through the Lena Turnbull Gilbert Fund