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Photo: Courtesy Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Conn.
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Dressing table


Object number

RIF696

Maker

Maker Unknown
Maker: formerly attributed to Christopher Townsend, 1701-1787
Maker: formerly attributed to Job Townsend, Sr., 1699 - 1765

Dimensions

86.36 x 87.63 x 59.055cm (34 x 34 1/2 x 23 1/4in.)

Date

1740-1760

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); yellow poplar (backboard, battens under top, and drawer sides); white pine (backing for drawer divider, top rail, and muntins, blocks for muntins, drawer guides for center drawer, and drawer bottoms)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"4," in chalk, on interior back of top drawer; "1," "2," and "3," in chalk, in same location on small drawers from left to right; pair of "V"s, incised and conjoined, inverted on interior drawer back; double "x"s, in chalk, where proper-left central drawer support is tenoned into backboard; random chalk marks on two vertical dividers

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Nathan Liverant and Son, Colchester, Connecticut, 1990; sold to George and Lesley Schoedinger, St. Louis, Missouri, 1996; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 18, 2008, lot 513

Associated names

Nathan Liverant and Son
George and Lesley Schoedinger
Christie's

Construction

CASE: The one-piece top was originally fastened to the one-piece case sides with nails through the top rail and through battens tenoned into the backboard and rabbeted to the top rail. The top overhangs the back of the case and has four indented corners and a molded back edge. Half blind dovetails with half keys at the top and bottom and eight full dovetails with thick pins in between fasten the two-piece backboard to the case sides. The joint of the top rail, drawer divider and skirt with the front corners of the sides is covered with veneer. The muntins between the small drawers fit in slots in the underside of the drawer divider and below the drawer opening are fitted in slots in the back of the skirt; the joint of the muntins and the skirt is reinforced with quarter-round blocks below the center drawer. The guides for the small drawers are rabbeted to the muntins and tenoned into the backboard. The central supports for the small drawers are rabbeted to the skirt and tenoned into the backboard. The drawer supports for the long drawer are nailed to the case sides. The legs are secured to the case sides with glue blocks; those on the front legs and the side ones on the rear legs are replaced; the blocks for the rear legs are the backboard are a sandwich of two pieces of wood. DRAWERS: The grain of the wood on the two-piece bottom of the long drawer runs from side to side; the bottom is chamfered on the front and sides and fits into a rabbet in the front and passes under the sides and back; running strips are added at the sides; five brads are visible fastening the bottom to the underside of the back. Half-blind dovetails fasten the drawer front to the drawer sides with half keys at the top and bottom and one full dovetail between them; the kerf marks are very short and fine. The top edges of the drawer sides are rounded and flush with the drawer fronts; the back edge is flat. The small drawers are constructed in a similar manner, except that the grain of the bottom boards runs from front to back and the bottoms lack the running strips. Examined by P. E. Kane, M. Taradash, January 14, 2008

Bibliography

"Nathan Liverant and Son advertisement," Antiques 137, no. 3 (March 1990): 582, ill.
Christie's, New York, Property from the Collection of George and Lesley Schoedinger, sale cat. (January 18, 2008), lot 513, ill.