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Photo: Courtesy Rhode Island Furniture Archive
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Tall chest of drawers


Object number

RIF656

Maker

Maker Joseph Inman, 1764 - 1846

Dimensions

Height: 149.86 cm (59 in.); Width, top: 97.155 cm (38 1/4 in.); Width, at feet: 94.615 cm (37 1/4 in.); Width, case: 91.123cm (35 7/8in.); Depth, top: 48.26 cm (19 in.); Depth, at feet: 47.308 cm (18 5/8 in.); Depth, case: 44.768 cm (17 5/8 in.)

Date

1794

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Maple (primary); chestnut (backboards and drawer linings); white pine (bottom board)

Marks

"Joseph Inman" [twice] / "Samuel Knop" [or "Hovey"] in chalk on the interior of the lower backboard

Inscriptions

"Smithfield/ Lydia M[owry] / Her Drawers Made/ 2+ 1794" painted on backboard. "V" pointing toward the top edge of the drawer is incised on some of the exterior drawer backs. "1," "2," and "x" inscribed in graphite on some drawer parts.

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Lydia Mowry, Smithfield, Rhode Island, 1794, who married William Ross; by descent to Mrs. James Wilson (née Deborah Ross, 1794–1868); by descent to Mrs. George Wade Smith (née Lucy Wilson,1822–1841); by descent to Mrs. Charles Field (née Lucy W. Smith, born 1841); by descent to Edith Field Wilcox (1872–1946); by descent to her great niece; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, October 24–25, 1986, lot 258

Associated names

Lydia Mowry
Deborah Ross
Lucy Wilson
Lucy W. Smith
Edith Field Wilcox
Descendant of Lydia Mowry Smithfield
Sotheby's

Construction

Half-blind dovetails with a half pin at the front and a half tail at the rear fasten the top to the case sides. Below the top inside the case strips running from front to back keep the top drawer from tipping when it is open. The one-piece cornice molding is applied to the sides and front rail from the front. Half-blind dovetails fasten the top rail and the drawer dividers to the case sides; the bottom rail fits in a groove in the case sides. The drawer supports are nailed to the case sides. The horizontal backboards are half-lapped together and are nailed to rabbets in the case sides and top and to the back edge of the bottom board with cut nails. Half-blind dovetails fasten the drawer fronts and backs to the drawer sides with a half pin at the top and a half tail at the bottom; the kerf marks on the drawer fronts are short and coarse. The grain of the bottom boards runs from side to side; the undersides of the drawers are chamfered to fit in grooves in the front and sides and are nailed to the underside of the back. The top edges of the drawer sides are rounded and are almost flush with the drawer fronts; the top edge of the backs are flat. The bottom board is dovetailed to the case sides. The feet are reinforced with vertical glue blocks that rest against the case bottom; the horizontal blocks abut them. The rear brackets on the back feet abut the sides of the rear feet and are nailed to the underside of the bottom; their inner edges are angled.

Bibliography

Sotheby's, New York, Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Folk Paintings, and Chinese Export Porcelain, sale cat. (October 24–25, 1986), lot 258, ill.