The museum describes the show of 105 selections, dating from 1700 to 1840, as its first of a private collection of American furniture.
WASHINGTON— The American master craftsmen who carved the trumpet-legged, bonnet-topped and scroll-armed furniture that George M. Kaufman collect produced chairs, tables, chests and sideboards memorable for their bold forms, aristocratic proportions and sheer variety of detailing.
These qualities are dramatized in the spacious and colorful settings of ''American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection,'' which opens today at the National Gallery of Art and remains through April 19, 1987.
A wide variety of resources can help you come close to dating an antique roll-top desk.
Take a thorough set of measurements for your desk, including height, depth and width of both the bottom desk and the tambour, or roll-top.
Many works have been written on maker's marks, hallmarks and other identifying marks of specific types of antiques.
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The whole is usually a single, tall and heavy piece of furniture.
Like the slant top desk, the main work surface is a hinged piece of wood which is flat when open and oblique when raised to enclose secondary work surfaces such as small shelves, small drawers and nooks stacked in front of the user.
A desk made from cherry after 1900, for example, would have been a special order or the work of a local craftsman.