June 24 & 25, 2022: 42nd Semi-Annual Premier Americana Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/25/2022
HISTORIC UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CARVED OAK DOUBLE / PARTNER'S DESK, by tradition associated with Nehemiah G. Ordway of New Hampshire, Sergeant of Arms for the House from 1863 to 1873, the two-compartment form in the Renaissance Revival taste featuring molded gallery with stylized Federal shields over a pair of hinged slant lids, the whole raised on a stylized trestle base adorned with extensive scrollwork, trellis back, molded detail, and relief-carved globes bearing "AMERICA" banner, the interior of one lid bearing original printed label for "DOE, HAZELTON & CO. / BOSTON, MASS". Oak secondary wood. Retaining possibly original surface with rich color.

Condition : Excellent overall condition with scattered minor wear throughout. Small loss to shell carving at rear lower panel. Minor old cracks and repairs to one hinges (one example reset). Lacking one lock with associated minor losses to interior.

Circa : 1857-1873.

Item Dimensions: 37 1/2" HOA, 46 1/2" WOA, 21" DOA.

Estimate : 10000 - 15000

Attribution : Doe, Hazelton & Co., Boston, MA, after a design by Thomas Ustick Walter, architect of the United States Capitol Building.

Catalog Note : Catalogue Note: The present desk was originally designed by Thomas Ustick Walter (1804-1887) and manufactured by Doe, Hazleton & Co. of Boston, Massachusetts for the newly opened House of Representatives chamber in the U. S. Capitol building in 1857. These double desks are believed to have been placed in the center row of a semi-circular arrangement of desks in the chamber, a design detail that would account for the unusual obtuse angle at which the two sections of the desk are joined. What's more, given certain construction details and several asymmetrical design features present in the double desk, it appears that in-the-period alterations were made to a pair of individual desks in the process of joining the two into a coherent whole. These changes were made post-manufacture and were executed in an effort to accommodate the growing number of legislators and the space's specific semi-circular geography of furnishings.
The present double desk was likely acquired by Nehemiah G. Ordway of New Hampshire, Sergeant of Arms for the House from 1863-1873 when furnishings were updated in the chamber during the final year of his tenure. The desk was later acquired by the current owner's great-grandparents in the early 20th century from Mink Hill Farms, at the time an antiques establishment in Warner, New Hampshire, the very birthplace of Nehemiah G. Ordway. A copy of the receipt from Mink Hill Farms remains with the desk.
The events to which the present desk bore witness are epic: from Secession, to emancipation, to assassination, to the beginnings of Reconstruction. This historical provenance, coupled with its unusually fine state of preservation, makes it a very desirable artifact of American History. To our knowledge, this is the only double desk to appear on the open market.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $14,280.00
Estimate: $10,000.00 - $15,000.00
Number Bids:14