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Revolving Bookstand

Revolving Bookstand. Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.Artist/Maker: Unspecified[1]

Created: c. 1810

Origin/Purchase: Monticello joinery

Materials: walnut

Dimensions: 50.2 x 67 x 67 (19 3/4 x 26 3/8 x 26 3/8 in.)

Location: Cabinet

Provenance: Thomas Jefferson; by descent to Thomas Jefferson Randolph; by descent to Mrs. Hollins N. Randolph; by purchase to Thomas Jefferson Foundation in 1938

Accession Number: 1938-20

Historical Notes: This revolving bookstand, once thought to be a music stand, was probably made to Jefferson's design and specifications in the joinery. As many as five books could be placed on it at a time. Jefferson may have conveniently placed it next to his chair in his reading-and-writing arrangement in the Cabinet. It is one of three known "revolving " works made in the joinery; the other two are tables.

Constructed of solid walnut, the cube-shaped stand has five adjustable rests for holding books; it has one book rest on the top and one on each of the fours sides. The rests can be folded down to form a cube. A central pole enables the bookstand to rotate at the bottom. A hole in the bottom suggests the possibility that the bookstand originally was supported by a tripod base.[2]


  1. This article is based on Stein, Worlds, 290.
  2. Charles L. Granquist, Jr., Cabinet Making at Monticello (MA thesis, State University of New York College at Oneonta, 1977), 14.


agray's picture
This would have been helpful when writing papers in grad school.
Andrea Gray


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