Wooton Desk

American (Indiana), late 19th century. An Aesthetic Movement (Eastlake style) Wooton desk in walnut with decorative brasses, having a tall spindled gallery with incised and low-relief carvings. The desk is finished on all four sides with panels and low-relief carving. The hinged barreled front doors have a mail slot on one side and original plaque on the other: Manufactured by / Wooton Desk Manf. Co. / Indianapolis. Ind. / W.S. Wooton Patent. / Oct. 6, 1874. Doors open to reveal an extensively fitted interior with fall front having an inset green felt writing surface with tooled leather border. All raised on carved feet with casters; ht. 70, wd. 42.5, dp. 28.5 in. (closed).

Wooton and Company, established by William S. Wooten in Indianapolis, Indiana, was in operation from 1870 to 1884. The company patented the "Wooton Desk" on October 6, 1874. It was officially called "Wooton's Patent Cabinet Office Secretary" and was conceived as a complete office-in-a desk. The desks were purchased by prominent people including President Grant, John D. Rockefeller and Spencer Baird, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. (For more information see The King of Desks: Wooton's Patent Secretary by Betty Lawson Walter).

A note that accompanies this desk states that it was used on Wall Street in New York City in 1880 by a women's apparel firm. The desk is said to have been shipped in 1890 to Belleville, New York where it remained until its owner's death.
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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