William and Mary Escritoire Desk

Obviously, I am a fan of William and Mary furniture. The period between about 1690 and about 1720 (in America, anyway) produced some of the most beautiful pieces of furniture in the history of the art. From the staggering heights of a high chest to a simple book stand, William and Mary has something for everyone, yet is all too often ignored (thanks to PWM for helping to bring the style back to the forefront).

For some time, I have planned to build a close interpretation of the 1707 Edward Evans desk, now in the collection of Colonial Williamsburg.  I have drawn up a sketch based on the photos found in Worldly Goods. Other projects have distracted me from this goal, but a recent conversation on the Society of American Period Furniture Makers forum reignited my passion for the form by linking to an incredible  escritoire recently sold at a Skinners auction.

The Edward Evans desk
Skinner desk closed
Skinner desk open 
Skinner desk detail 1

Skinner desk detail 2
 I think I have enough walnut on hand to build a very similar desk. I'll probably have to come up with some poplar and I will have to find a source for "screeter" hinges.  I will definitely use drop pull hinges rather than the brasses found on the Skinner desk. Once I'm finished with my gooseneck and a Chippendale table for a proposed article, I will restart my efforts on this style of desk. I already have the lower case sides planed up and waiting... but that is the easy part.


  1. I love love love love love love love love love love this piece. William and Mary is right up there as Federal for me. I think I love William and Mary even more then Federal. I can't wait to see you blog about this piece.


  2. Honestly, I can't wait to restart the work. I've had the case sides planed up for almost a year. I just have to finish my current project and probably do the article project, then I'm free to do this one! Might have to throw in a quickie pine blanket chest to make some dough.