With our highest compliments and utmost honors, Bay Colony Antiques is proud to offer for sale this exceptional early 20th century mahogany tambour ladies secretary desk. The desk was made by the Bussolini brothers of Quincy MA. The Bussolini brothers did not mass produce their goods; they were custom cabinet makers working in the traditional manner furnishing the homes of Boston’s elite. Tambour desk are the holy grail of Seymour furniture and similar examples can be seen in museums across the country. The Bussolini brothers seem to have always altered their designs ever so slightly, even combining desirable features from different pieces. The Bussolini brothers were likely influenced by the two Seymour desks at the MFA in Boston, item #41.575, & item #45.231.
The desk is heavily inlaid and has inlaid tambour doors decorated with festoons of bellflowers. The tambour doors are flanked by inlaid ionic columns with fluted bodies and demure volutes at the base of the capital. The tambour doors actuate with ease and open to reveal an interior with 4 inlaid drawers and 8 pigeonholes. The writing surface has a green baize fabric that’s in decent condition, but it has faded over the years and has a small split on the right side at the fold. The drawers have crotch mahogany faces and are also decorated with the multi-wood repeating rhombus inlay that’s persistent throughout the piece. The last Bussolini desk we had like this wasn't inlaid on the crown & lid and had standard columns flanking the drawers. This desk has a more sophisticated inlaid column like the two in the MFA and another in the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. There’s an additional variegated wood inlay on the faces and the drawers are fitted with traditional ring pulls in the Battersea manner with charming courting scenes. The desk has tapered legs with a flower inlay at the top and a series of bellflowers below. The desk is in very good condition with our only notes being minor surface wear. The desk measures 37 1/4” wide x 20 1/8” deep x 43 1/2” tall.