A Classical Bookcase Cylinder Desk

Baltimore, Maryland
Circa 1830
Attributed to John Needles

This beautiful secretary is topped by a recessed broken scroll pediment centering a delicately turned urn. The dazzling use of highly figured mahogany and bird’s-eye maple veneers creates an exciting contrast. In addition, the application of ebony pulls and ebonized surfaces including the recesses in the desk interior, the capitals, the bases, and the feet, further enhances the overall appeal of this fine piece. These features are associated with the Baltimore school of design. The cylinder desk is fitted with a series of drawers and gothic arches. Related labeled examples by John Needles exhibit similarities in construction and design.


Classical Maryland 1815-1845 (Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, 1998), fig. 146.

Gregory R.Weidman, Furniture in Maryland 1740-1940 (Baltimore, 1984), no. 102.

Height: 80½” Width: 39¾” Depth: 22”

Back to Archive