DAR Musuem Acquires Waln-Morris Desk and Bookcase

This morning I was invited for the delivery of a recent important acquisition to the Daughters of the American Revolution museum in Washington DC. This is a world class museum with an incredible collection of fine furniture, fine art and decorative arts. The collection is extremely diverse with many important objects, and they are constantly improving the experience and collection.

The museum has over 30 period rooms along with an exhibition hall sponsored by the DAR State Chapters. If in Washington DC I highly recommend visiting the museum along with their amazing genealogy library. The building is wonderful, the library room is amazing (once the DAR theater/auditorium before Constitution Hall), and a collection of over 30,000 objects.

I had the distinct pleasure of consulting and advising the museum acquisition committee on the rare and fine, Philadelphia Chippendale desk and bookcase from the Waln-Morris family. The desk and bookcase had been in the Waln-Morris family since it was made, Circa 1760-1780. It has wonderful proportions with a great vertical aesthetic for a large piece of furniture and the represents a tour de force of American rococo period carving.

As I mentioned, I did not inspect the desk and bookcase prior to purchase nor did I appraiser it. I reviewed provided information and researched important pieces of Philadelphia furniture with strong provenance in excellent condition and reviewed other important American secretary bookcases based on condition, design characteristics, quality and provenance and made recommendations. Consulting and advisory work can be an important part of the overall appraisal practice and should be an area for appraisers to expand their practice.

The Waln-Morris desk and bookcase will be on display in the DAR museum study room starting on Friday for several months before moving into one of the period rooms for permanent display. I highly recommend a visit, it is a wonderful museum and the Waln-Morris desk and bookcase is an outstanding example of Americana worthy of its placement at the DAR Musuem.

A few images (click on image to enlarge)

Having fun behind the DAR Bronze Eagle Lectern which has been used multiple times at presidential inaugural luncheons and other import events.

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