Post Lot Text
An important renaissance revival desk that was purchased by Alexander Gardner along with matching Congressional chair (preceding lot) sometime after 1859. The desk was initially constructed during the expansion of the United States Capitol. The prominent Philadelphia architect Thomas U. Walter had been appointed Fourth Architect of the Capitol by President Millard Fillmore in 1851; from then until 1865, Walter redesigned the House and Senate Wings and the new dome (completed during Lincoln's presidency). In conjunction with the expansion, new furniture, including desks and chairs was acquired in 1857. Walter developed the design for the desk and 252 were ordered from Doe, Hazelton and Company at a cost of $90 each. Although we are uncertain which Congressman utilized this desk, it was present in the chamber during one of the most critical periods in American political history as the inflammatory issues that led to secession and the Civil War were fiercely debated. The furniture was removed and dispersed in 1859 to accommodate a new seating plan.
Provenance: Alexander Gardner -- Margaret Gardner, his wife -- Eliza Gardner, his daughter -- Given by her in 1921 to the Church of New Jerusalem. (See notes preceding lot 120).