talk, "Line and Berry Inlay in a Dutchman's 'Schrutoor': The Tale of a Remarkable Fall-Front Writing Desk from Western Long Island," unfolded like a mystery.
Kenny, co-president of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust, New York, has published his paper on this scrutoir in Chipstone's 2014 American Furniture with a different title.
Kenny has proved with physical and stylistic evidence that Joris Brinckerhoff could not be its original owner.
"Screwteor" is spelled various ways in New York inventories, but Kenny
said it is hard to tell if that term refers to more common fall-front desks or desks-on-frame.
This scrutoir is of English William and Mary design with Pennsylvania-type line-and-berry or vine-and-flower inlay and has its original Dutch-type feet and Dutch-type cornice.
called it an American original, produced in western Long Island, New York, in an area that was a meeting ground of Dutch and English Quakers.
suggested that the inlay on the front of the scrutoir (a looping shower of large and small blossoms) may have been inspired by the Tree of Life designs on imported Indian cotton textiles or ceramics.
The sides of the scrutoir have compass stringing and berries or flowers that can be read as two anthropomorphic figures.
suggested that the design on the upper case is a feminine figure of Eve and the plainer design in the bottom is a male figure of Adam.
is convinced that the scrutoir was made in a shop where Dutch furniture-making traditions held sway and that the vine-and-berry inlay is in the tradition brought to Pennsylvania by Welsh Quakers and found its way to New York when Pennsylvania Quakers traveled there for regional meetings.