Important Virginia Inlaid Federal Desk
made by John Shearer for Philip Stuber/Stover in 1808, walnut case elaborately carved, inlaid and detailed, poplar and oak secondary, fallboard with inlaid shield, chains, anchors and medallion, inscribed "Lord Nelson and Victory" with incised Masonic device above, resting on pierced cut lopers, shell carved interior set with a double shell frieze drawer over a central document drawer flanked by six serpentine drawers with stop fluted tambour door covers, further flanked by shell carved drawers with scrolled supports over an open cubby above an additional candle drawer, front with three concave long drawers, top one with inlaid panel inscribed "By Shearer to Stuben", drawers flanked by engaged quarter columns with incise carved bases, skirt set with an original pierced and carved drop resting on bracket feet, 45-1/2 x 47 x 23 in., drawer pulls and escutcheon plates replaced, otherwise largely intact, excellent condition with scattered minor repairs including patch and repair at one fallboard hinge, repaired crack at top and bottom edges of fallboard, three small patches at corners of interior serpentine drawers, one patch to drawers facing, feet possibly trimmed. Provenance: Estate of Charles H. Folwell, Mount Holly, New Jersey, circa 1930s; By Descent in family; an Asheville Living Estate The desk is signed, dated and inscribed in numerous places, including the underside of desk floor inscribed "Made by Shearer Joiner from Edinburgh 1808 in the fall"; top center of backboard with lengthy inscription "This desk was made forů"; and inside upper backboards (desk interior) "Made by me for Philip(?) Stuber 1808 John Shearer". It is inscribed "Martinsburg" in several places. In addition, a note pasted into the tambour compartment recounts the story of the desk and some of the characters in Shearer's life: "I made this desk for an Honest Dutchman of the name of Philip Stover in Frederick County Maryland Close by the River in the year 1808--the same year that I made John Mitchell's desk close by Late's? Mill? in the same County, but a biger Rascle as well as fool Is not to be found in this county than this John Mitchell. The running doors that is in this desk was made for this very Rascle's Desk Jno. Mitchell My Name is John Shearer joiner from Edinborough North Britan Not forgetting a Sarha Skags the Bigest Whor in this county lived there at that time"