Fall front secretary desk

Metadata

Title

Fall front secretary desk

Description

This fall front secretary desk is attributed to the French-born and trained cabinetmaker Michel Bouvier (1792-1874) who emigrated to Philadelphia after the collapse of the Empire in 1815. By 1819 he had established himself as a cabinetmaker, and in 1825 he was operating a "cabinet & sofa warehouse" on South Second Street, where he remained for more than thirty years. According to family tradition, Bouvier supplied this desk for Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844) while superintending the building and furnishing of Bonaparte's home, "Point Breeze" near Bordentown, NJ on the Delaware River. It is believed that the desk later passed to Garret Dorset Wall (1783-1850), a New Jersey lawyer who handled Bonaparte's legal affairs. The desk descended to Wall's daughter, Maria Matilda (b. 1815), the wife of New Jersey Governor Peter Dumont Vroom (1791-1874), and it remained in the Vroom family until presented to the Athenaeum in 1961.

Creator

Bouvier, Michel

Date

1818 - 1820

Identifier

1961.03.01

Extent

65.0" H x 43.375" W x 21.75" D

Medium

Mahogany, cherry, pine, maple; ormolu mounts

Is Part Of

Bonaparte Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Provenance

Gift of Gertruda Vroom Brooks Lushington

Citation

Bouvier, Michel, “Fall front secretary desk,” Bonaparte Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, Joseph Bonaparte in America, accessed December 10, 2018, https://www.josephbonaparteinamerica.org/items/show/7.