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Photo: Courtesy The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wis., accession no. 1961.4 Photography by Gavin Ashworth
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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF798

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

227.331 x 97.79 x 53.975 cm (89 1/2 x 38 1/2 x 21 1/4 in.)

Date

1765–1795

Current location

The Chipstone Foundation

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); white pine (outside guide for proper-left bottom drawer of lower case); yellow poplar (top of pediment); chestnut (all other secondary wood)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“R” and “L” [later], in graphite, on interior bottom of top drawers of upper case; “4,” in blue chalk, on proper-right side underside of upper case top [towards front]; “2,” in blue chalk, on proper-left of underside of upper case top [towards front]; “1,” in chalk, on interior back of proper-right bottom drawer of lower case; illegible chalk, on interior back of proper-left bottom drawer of lower case; possibly “2,” in chalk, on interior back of middle bottom drawer of lower case

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

John S. Walton, Inc., New York; sold to Polly Mariner Stone (1898–1995) and Stanley Stone (1896–1987), Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1961; bequeathed by Stanley Stone to The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1987

Associated names

John S. Walton, Inc.
Stanley Stone
Polly Mariner Stone

Construction

The high chest is in two sections, an upper case and a lower case. The lower case is constructed in the same manner as dress table no. 18 (1958.5) with the following differences: the secondary wood is chestnut except for the lower drawer supports which are pine in the left drawer and poplar in the center and right drawer. The legs are removable but do not fit into spaces lined with blocks; the front ones are screwed to the sides and glued in place; the rear ones seem to be only glued. The case sides are not reduced where they are adjacent to the legs. There is no top. In the upper case, the chestnut bottom is dovetailed to the mahogany sides; the top, also of chestnut, may also be dovetailed to the sides but this construction is masked by the bonnet. Long reinforcing rails, poplar at the top, chestnut at the bottom, reinforce the entire length of these joints. The dust boards are chestnut veneered with mahogany and are inserted into the sides dovetail fashion. The long drawer supports are nailed to the sides and meet the dust boards in front. The dust board below the small paired drawers is made like the others except that the drawer supports are broader and, at the back, meet another dust board running horizontally across the back; at the center, yet another board stretches from the front dust board to this back dust board and supports the inner sides of the top drawers. The boards of the case back are tongue and grooved together and are nailed to the sides, top, and bottom. Inside the case, a vertical bracing board reinforces the back and stretches from the bottom to the back dust board. The bonnet is constructed as follows. In front a solid mahogany board is fitted into the tops of the case sides; in back an extension of the top backboard echoes the shape of the mahogany front. Poplar boards are placed next to each other and nailed to the front board and backboard to cover the bonnet. In the interior, two braces strengthen the bonnet back by rising from the case top to the top of the bonnet. The finial urn is not carved in the rear. The raised panels in front are applied as are the moldings. All drawers have thin chestnut linings, are dovetailed in front and back, and have bottoms nailed all around. Source: Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone, (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 26-28.

Bibliography

Stanley Stone, "Rhode Island Furniture at Chipstone, Part II," Antiques 91, no. 4 (April 1967): 508, ill.
Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 26–28, no. 12, ill.