In the days before the proliferation of printed labels, cabinetmakers signed only their best piece. The blocked desk-and-bookcase, circa 1775, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is Gould's only signed piece. It is inscribed "Nath Gould not his work,” but Kemble Widmer and Joyce King discovered that "Nath Gould” is in Gould's hand, while "not his work” is not. It may have been written by Gould's son, also Nathaniel, or by a disgruntled worker. The 105-inch piece was likely the one purchased by Jeremiah Lee for his daughter on the occasion of her marriage.
Also on these boards
1779 American (Massachusetts) Desk and bookcase at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - From the curators' comments: "This tall and stately secretary, fashioned of the finest figured mahogany, is a masterpiece from the shop of Nathaniel Gould, the leading cabinetmaker of Salem, Massachusetts, in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. When Gould died in 1781, he was listed as a gentleman, having presumably given up working with his hands."