Early American Bureau Table Sells For High Above Estimate
The table is known as the Catherine Goddard Chippendale Block-and-Shell Carved and Figured Mahogany Bureau Table. it is attributed to the Newport, Rhode Island cabinetmaker John Goddard (1724-1785). Goddard is one of America's early talented cabinetmakers and this piece demonstrates the Newport style of block-and-shell carving. A handwritten label in the top drawer of the table made provenance a breeze it says that John Goddard made the desk for his daughter Catherine Goddard, who married Perry Weaver. Their son Benjamin Weaver married Hannah Briggs, who inherited the desk, and gave it to her sister Deborah Briggs. She left it to Mary Briggs Weaver, daughter of Hannah Briggs, and she left it to Mary Briggs Weaver Case. This piece previously went to auction not that long ago. It sold at auction in January 2005 for $940,000 and as you can see by the estimate listed above, it was not supposed to do quite as well this go round.
"This desk bears all the unique characteristics and quality of construction that make Newport furniture of this era so highly prized among collectors. The quality of the mahogany in particular is stunning in this piece and shows that Goddard had his pick of the wood coming into the port during that era," said Hays, deputy chairman of Christie's Americas and lead specialist in American Furniture. "We are honored to have established such a strong price today for this table, which represents a new world auction record for the knee-hole desk form."
Just last month a new record for English furniture was set (over $5.9 million) at Sotheby's.