"EXTRAORDINARY DECORATED SOUTHERN FOLK ART BUREAU" (Dated March 23, 1845, attributed to Johnson County, Tennessee.)
Maximum dimensions: 48 ½ inches (height without gallery backboard), 59 ½
(height with gallery backboard), 40 ½ inches (width), 23 ½ inches (depth).
In pencil on the interior of one side panel: “March 23, 1845,” and indecipherable additional writing which is appears to be a signature. The writing is partially obscured by the drawer runners since the writing was, obviously, applied prior to assembly.
Woods: Top, gallery backboard and side panels are Southern yellow birch; drawer fronts and legs appear to be walnut; secondary woods are Southern yellow pine and tulip poplar. Locks and pulls are original, left small drawer has the remains of a Quaker lock underneath and a faux key-hole escutcheon. A superb cut-out and hand-carved gallery backboard; tall turned legs, applied hand-carving around the base of the case to include both sides; applied hand-carved quarter circle decorations in each corner of the side panels; a decorated divider between the two small drawers; exaggerated “tigering” to the maple gallery backboard and to front and sides; hand-carved reeding under pilasters on front, and dovetailed drawers. The cabinetmaker probably used “lamp black” to give the appearance of “tigering,”or more likely, “rosewood.” The bureau is exceptional in many ways, including condition. In addition to excellent cabinet work, the decoration on the piece exhibits extraordinary folk art qualities; quite rare in Southern furniture. The piece was purchased in Abingdon, Virginia with an oral provenance as having been found in East Tennessee, in or around Johnson County.