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"Secretary Cabinet"

c. 1889
Designed by George Washington Jack, American (active England), 1855 - 1932. Made by Morris and Company, London, 1861 - 1940

A masterwork of High Victorian design, this writing desk was modified from a cabinet on stand to include drawers and pigeonholes behind a fall front. It was described as a "secretaire cabinet" when it was first shown at the London Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 1889 and published in the catalogues of Morris and Company. Among the most elaborate and costly pieces ever made by the Morris firm, the cabinet is lavishly decorated inside and out with sycamore and other woods inlaid in geometric and naturalistic patterns. The wealthy Englishman Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead purchased the cabinet about 1891, bringing it with him when he and his American wife moved to the United States the following year.


Object Details

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