Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000
Two pieces, cherry and figured cherry, cedar or pine back, original varnish finish, applied cove molded top, over vertical double paneled doors, through mortised and double pinned, brass escutcheon plates over the figured cherry wood original diamond escutcheons, brass door closures, five fixed interior shelves, (one shelf was removed at bottom, probably to accommodate larger books), bottom section with fall front desk with five horizontal inset panels opening to eight finely formed dovetailed drawers, each with finely turned cherry wood pulls, with central highly figured cherry panel door opening to three more fitted dovetailed drawers with leather pulls, green felt desk surface, all over four graduated and dovetailed drawers, with six (three side by side) vertical paneled ends, on a carved and dovetailed bracket base, repair to top upper left cornice molding, otherwise very fine condition, 39 3/4″ w, 11 1/2″ d.
According to June Sprigg, the Shakers at Canterbury sold this secretary in the 1930’s from their Antique Shop. Dr. McCue referred to this piece as “the Cathedral”.
“We believe that this magnificent secretary, circa 1840, is the finest and most important example of Shaker furniture ever made in the Shaker communities in Ohio and Kentucky. It is certainly the finest and most important example extant from the West. Its design and construction rank it among the most complex and most sophisticated pieces of Shaker furniture in existence, whether made in the East or the West. Its exceptional provenance places it among the most desirable major casepieces made in the Shaker Society. It is truly a worthy centerpiece for any important collection of Shaker furniture.” Part of a 1996 document by June Sprigg, former Curator at Hancock Shaker Village
Purchased in 1932 by Mrs. Benjamin Moore
Purchased at the R. Withington estate auction of Mrs. Benjamin Moore in Center Harbor, NH, October 1966 for $900