South Carolina, 1790-1800, finely constructed in figured mahogany, upper case with removable broken arch, dentil molded pediment, set with "pomegranate" rosettes, bookmatched panel doors, opening to five graduated linen drawers, lower case with a fitted secretary drawer over two additional long drawers, cypress, red cedar, white and yellow pine, as secondary woods, 98 x 50 x 24 in.
Note: This important Charleston secretary linen press relates to a number of documented Charleston double case forms including a library bookcase illustrated in Rauschenberg and Bivins, Jr. [The Furniture of Charleston, 1680 to 1820]; fig NC-32. This present example is distinguished by a chalk inscription on the top of the lower case that may reference the cabinet maker John Gough who was working in Charleston at that time. He was a free African-American cabinetmaker who had served in the Revolutionary War, owned slaves, and was financially successful. No other work by this artisan has been discovered to date. A full description can be found in the book referenced above. Provenance: Acquired by a Charlotte, NC doctor in 1952; George C. Williams Antiques, Charleston SC; Private Collection, acquired 2005
accompanied by extensive conservation notes by George C. Williams Antiques indicating carved rosettes and finial replaced, some breaks in repairs with later bracing at pediment, brass is replaced (no plugged holes), original feet with very minor repairs, prospect door lock replaced, scattered minor veneer and cockbeading repairs,ÿ