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Hepplewhite Style Library Desk

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Unknown Artist

Hepplewhite Style Library Desk


29 in. x 52 in. (73.66 cm x 132.08 cm)
Bequest of M. Carey Thomas, President of Bryn Mawr College, 1894-1922

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: W.40
Other Number(s): Deanery.406 (Deanery Number)
Classification: Furnishings and Furniture; Furniture; Desk
Collection: Deanery Collection
Bryn Mawr College, Wyndham Alumnae House, 1st Floor

Four-legged library desk with five drawers. Two drawers are on either side of a larger central drawer. Desk is decorated with fan-shaped inlay designs on the corners of each drawer, the spandrels below the central drawer, and the spandrels below the side drawers. This inlaid decoration appears on the reverse of the desk as well. Each drawer also has a large visible keyhole set in a metal oval. Legs are square and straight, except for a small square protrusion near the bottom.

Hepplewhite style refers to furniture created in the 19th century that emulates the work of the 18th century English cabinetmaker, George Hepplewhite (1727?-1786). The 19th century saw the revival and coexistence of many styles. The recreation of Hepplewhite’s designs was made possible through the posthumous publication of a book of his designs,
The Cabinetmaker and Upholsterer’s Guide (1788), by his widow. The designs published in Hepplewhite’s book are a distinctly simplified version of European Neoclassicism, whose classical forms and decoration were inspired by the contemporary rediscovery of the classical world through archaeology. The adoption of European Neoclassicism in America is also often referred to as the Federal Style.

Bryn Mawr College, Wyndham Alumnae House, 1st Floor

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=Hepplewhite Style Library Desk |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=7/24/2021 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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