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Federal Mahogany Inlaid Sideboard

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American Furniture & Decorative Arts - 2482
Date / Time :
November 08, 2009 11:00AM


Federal Mahogany Inlaid Sideboard, attributed to John and Thomas Seymour, Boston, Massachusetts, late 18th century, the central desk drawer opens to an interior of three drawers and seven valanced compartments, flanked by single drawers and hinged doors, all inlaid with stringing and bellflowers, the oval "General Washington" pulls appear to be original, old surface, (minor imperfections), ht. 41 3/4, wd. 68 1/4, dp. 23 in.

Provenance: According to a notarized account dated March 25, 1938, this sideboard was owned by Benjamin Bass Leeds, of Old Dorchester, Massachusetts. Benjamin Leeds willed it to his son Henry Leeds, who in turn willed it to his sister Sally Leeds Townsend, who gave it to her daughter Sarah Cornelia Townsend, who willed it to her niece Sally Leeds Parker, who owned it in 1938.

Benjamin Bass Leeds (b. August 27, 1767) was a Dorchester resident. Interestingly, he is briefly mentioned in a letter that President John Adams wrote to his Secretary of War James McHenry in April of 1799. In that letter, Adams cites another letter in which a Major Badlam and Mr. Harrison Gray Otis recommend Benjamin Bass Leeds for Lieutenant, for which President Adams believes Leeds is "well qualified." Leeds was descended from the early Dorchester settler Richard Leeds, who sailed from England in 1637. Benjamin's son also named Benjamin Bass Leeds was the owner of a very well known dry goods store in Boston from 1817 to 1837.
Estimate $20,000-30,000

minor veneer cracking; both ends with patched shrinkage cracks; dirty overall; numerous but minor stains to surface; right drawer with early mostly indistinct chalk inscription; some chips to bottom of legs; knobs on doors are early additions; brasses dented in places.


Benjamin Bass Leeds, John Seymour, Thomas Seymour, Massachusetts, Benjamin Leeds, Old Dorchester, Henry Leeds, Sally Leeds Parker, Sally Leeds Townsend, Sarah Cornelia Townsend, John Adams, President, Secretary, James McHenry, Harrison Gray Otis, Lieutenant, United Kingdom, Richard Leeds, Dorchester, Boston, Leeds