COLLECTION: Household Accessories

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Ledger or Letter Rack

ca. 1835
Origin: America, New England
OH: 30 1/2"; OW: 25 1/4"; OD: 9 5/8"
White pine
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1950-144
Appearance: Ledger or letter rack; rectangular case with flat, recessed top; rectangular sides with cut-out triangular projections at top, the rear projection squared off and pierced with a circular hole; at the top front is an essentially rectangular cresting, the upper edge tapering downwards slightly toward center where it joins a large, stylized Ionic capital applied to cresting; the front of the cabinet is composed of a wide, vertical compartment at center flanked by five, smaller compartments on either side; above each of these five compartments is a large, horizontal compartment; the entire front opening is framed with a thin, incised molding line; the sides are cut out at the base in a semi-circular arch, and at the front is an elongated arch, simple bracket feet being formed at the corners as a result.

Construction notes: The piece is nailed and pegged together; no dovetails were used. Much of the surface is still covered with the original yellow-green paint. A wood rod apparently once extended across the back of the top and was doweled through holes in the saw-toothed fret; nail holes across the top of the front possibly indicate a cloth once hung down covering the rack opening.
Inscription(s):"1835" painted in yellow on base.