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Oak desk with characteristics of Rococo revival and Renaissance revival design styles, one of a set of 262.

The slanted top is hinged and lined with baize. A carved splashboard features a centered stars-and-stripes shield above a cloth-lined, hinged compartment writing well. The case is set with a sliding drawer, which has two knobs and keyhole. Bead-and-reel molding trims the bottom of the desk case. The sides of the case are carved. Scrolled supports brace the drawer case. The sides of the drawer have applied scroll, volute, and bead carvings and flank a recessed, shaped medial shelf. The back of the case is lattice above the shelf, and below is a shaped porthole. The desk has a carved, scrolled bracket base on castors. The bottom trim is gadrooned molding.

The desk has a plaque engraved: [John Hill / New Jersey]. Underneath the desk is stamped by the maker: [DOE, HAZELTON & CO. / MANUFACTURERS / BOSTON, MASS.].

Object use

Case furniture

Object type



Doe, Hazelton, & Co., furniture manufacturer and retailer, looking glass maker, and upholsterer, about 1850-1859; Doe, Joseph M., furniture manufacturer, retailer, and upholsterer, 1809-1871, active about 1836-about 1869; Hazelton, Jonathan Eastman, furniture manufacturer and retailer, 1803-1888, active about 1844-1888; Walter, Thomas U., designer and architect, 1804-1887, active about 1820-about 1865

Basis of maker

Stamped by maker. Stamp is not photographed, but is located under desk according to Christie's Auction Catalog, Important American Furniture (January 18, 1997), pg. 193.

Place of origin

Boston, Massachusetts

Basis of origin

Doe, Hazelton, & Co. was a furniture manufacturing firm active in Boston, Massachusetts ca. 1850-1858.



Basis of date

Date provided by Christie's, 1997, based on the commission date of the Walter chairs and desks for use in the US House of Representatives.


Rococo Revival; Renaissance Revival


Oak; Wool baize

Attributes & techniques

Carving; Turning; Moldings; Knobs; Castors; Locks; Hinges

Marks, signatures, inscriptions

Stamped underneath: [DOE, HAZELTON & CO. / MANUFACTURERS / BOSTON, MASS.].

Plaque engraved: [John Hill / New Jersey].


Height 37.5 in. (95.3 cm), Width 29.5 in. (74.9 cm), Depth 21 in. (53.3 cm)

Associated objects

May be of a set with DAPC_1976-0127.

History of ownership

Allegedly designed for use in the United States House of Representatives along with DAPC_1976-0127, in 1857. Sold by Christie's at auction, listed for $4,000-$6,000, on January 18, 1997.


Auction catalog: Christie's, Important American Furniture (January 18, 1997), 193.

Online resource: US House of Representatives, History, Art, and Archives, http://history.house.gov (Accessed August 9, 2017), 2006.019.000.




Designed by the Architect of the Capitol, Thomas U. Walker. May be one of the desks used in the US House of Representatives, 1857-1875.

See DAPC_1997-0355. According to the House of Representatives website, the order for 262 chairs was split between the Bembe & Kimbel of New York and the Desk Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia (http://history.house.gov/Collection/Detail/15032393341). There is no mention in the record whether Doe Hazelton & Co. supplied the chairs or parts of the chairs. There is no mention of an inscription or label. The attribution was made by Tom Ormsbee in a newspaper clipping from an unknown source (included in the DAPC record) dated c. 1954. The House of Representatives website does have a record for the Walter desk (which accompanies the Walter chair) with an attribution to Doe Hazelton & Co. (http://history.house.gov/Collection/Detail/42870). Also, the Christie's auction catalog, Important American Furniture (January 18, 1997), claims that the desk does have an inscription of Doe Hazleton & Co.

"When the House's new Chamber opened in 1857, it boasted 262 desks in the latest Renaissance Revival fashion. The Doe, Hazelton Company of Boston made the desks according to Architect of the Capitol Thomas U. Walter's elaborate design. Function was an important consideration, as well. Wooden inkwells with cloth-lined lids were prescribed, rather than noisy metal versions. The inkwell itself was sunken into the desk so that it could not be taken by 'prying messengers and pages.'" (From the object record in the US House of Representatives collection, 2006).

Current owner



Metadata and images digitized from the Decorative Arts Photographic Collection of the Winterthur Library. For reproduction requests or more information, contact DAPC at reference@winterthur.org


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