Four-sided music stand, 1750 -1770
Atwater Kent Museum of...
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Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia

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Detail of base
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Detail showing underside of...

  • Overview
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The top resembles a truncated wooden pyramid: four sides rising from a wide, flat "table" to meet in a narrow, flat top. One of the four sides has a trapezoidal door cut into it, hinged at the top, to permit music sheets to be stored inside. Centered at the lower edge of the door is a small keyhole. Around the bottom edges of the cabinet are rims or cuffs on which sheets of music can rest. Sliding candle rests, two of which have been reproduced, could be drawn out from the underside of the music cabinet. Attached to the underside of the cabinet top is a small square tablet with squat, vase-turned colonettes at the four corners, like those attached beneath tripod tables. The base is that of a conventional Delaware Valley tripod table: a ring-and-vase-turned baluster or pillar from which descend three serpentine legs cuffed at the connection to the column, and ending in blunt, shod snake feet. All of those elements are well executed. The tripod joint is reinforced by a thin iron Y-shaped brace held in place by round-headed screws (not modern). The column is joined to the cabinet top with a (reproduced) ring-and-pin fastening. The undersides of all the feet reveal holes from the hardware that secured rollers (now missing). The size and alignment of the holes suggest that the rollers were affixed in the 18th century.

The attribution to the shop of William Savery has been made by scholars, but is not yet documented in Franklin's or Savery's papers.
Connection to Franklin
Given to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania with the history of having been bought at an auction of Franklin furniture Terms of Use Credits