image of object
Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's, New York
Click the image to enlarge

High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF591

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

72 3/4 x 39 1/2 x 22 in. (184.79 x 100.33 x 55.88 cm)

Date

1745–1765

Current location

Unknown

Geography

Made in Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Maple (primary); pine (secondary)

Inscriptions

Inverted "V"s for up in chalk on some drawer backs

Style

Queen Anne Style

Provenance

Christie's, New York, June 21, 1995, lot 218. Sotheby's, New York, January 18, 2003, lot 864. Sotheby's, New York, May 19, 2005, lot 246. Heller Washam Antiques, Woodbury, Connecticut, and Portland, Maine, 2008

Associated names

Christie's
Leigh Keno American Antiques
Robert Rubin
Sotheby's
Heller Washam Antiques
Private collection
Sotheby's

Construction

UPPER CASE. The one-piece top board and two-piece bottom board are dovetailed to the one-piece case sides with half pins at the front and back and nine full dovetails at the top and eight at the bottom between them; the dovetails are irregular in size. On the top, the top rail is visible at the front and at the rear a filler piece spans between the tails. The four horizontal backboards are half-lapped together and are fastened with rose head nails to rabbets in the side and top and to the back edge of the filler piece at the bottom. The top rail, drawer dividers, and bottom rails are dovetailed to the case sides. The bottom board is recessed below the front rail. The drawer supports are fastened to the case sides with rose head nails; kicker strips are fastened to the case sides above the upper drawer to keep the drawer from tipping when open. LOWER CASE. The back, sides and front are tenoned into the tops of the legs. The mid moldings are added to the top of the lower case. A board spans the front of the lower case and is dovetailed to the top of the leg and fits in a rabbet in the case side. Drawer guides are glued to the case sides between the tops of the legs. The muntins between the lower drawers fit in slots slide in dovetail slots on the underside of the drawer divider and in the skirt; vertical drawer guides are tenoned to them and into the rear of the case. Drawer supports for the central drawer are fastened to the drawer guides. Medial supports for the outer drawers are tenoned into the backboard and half-lapped to the skirt. Half-blind dovetails fasten the drawer sides to the drawer fronts with a half pin at the top and a half tail at the bottom. The drawer bottoms are chamfered to fit in grooves on the front and sides and are fastened to the underside of the back with rosehead nails. The kerf marks are long and thick. The tops of the drawers sides are rounded and are slightly lower than the drawer fronts. None of the drawers in the upper or lower case lock. Examined by P. E. Kane and Mia Taradash, May 17, 2005.

Bibliography

Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (June 21, 1995), lot 218.
Sotheby's, New York, Property from a Private Collection, sale cat. (January 18, 2003), 70–71, lot 864, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Important American Folk Art, Furniture, and Silver, including the Gary Gold Dinner Service, sale cat. (May 19, 2005), 184, lot 246, ill.
"Heller Washam Antiques advertisement," Maine Antique Digest (November 2008): 40–D, ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (September 26, 2008), 59, lot 42, ill.