image of object
Photo: Courtesy Dallas Museum of Art, Bybee Collection, 1985.B22
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Chest on frame


Object number

RIF831

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

64 7/8 x 39 x 21 in. (164.783 x 99.06 x 53.34 cm)

Date

1740-1760

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Soft maple (legs, case sides, drawer fronts, drawer dividers, and knee brackets); chestnut (drawer sides and bottoms, case top and bottom)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

None

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

John S. Walton, Greenwich, Connecticut; sold to Faith P. Bybee (1900–1996) and Charles L. Bybee (1900–1972), Houston, 1954; sold by Faith P. Bybee to the Dallas Museum of Art, 1985; consigned to Christie's, New York, January 16, 1998, lot 424

Associated names

Charles L. Bybee
Faith P. Bybee
Dallas Museum of Art
Christie's
John S. Walton

Construction

The legs are continuous from top to bottom. They do not separate at the knee as do other Newport examples. The skirt rails of the lower section tenon into the legs. A medial cross-brace is dovetailed to the front and back skirts and nailed in place. This member helps to stabilize the lower section. The sides of the upper case consist of two vertical boards which dovetail into the top and bottom boards. The drawer runners are nailed to the sides of the case. The drawer dividers join the case sides with sliding dovetails. These joints are left exposed. The drawers are joined with relatively large and crude dovetails. Their chamfered bottoms fit into grooves run on their fronts and sides. They are nailed flush across the back. The backboards are nailed into the rabbeted edges of the top and sides. The midmolding is nailed to the upper section. The exterior surface of this chest survives in good condition. The brown finish is original, as is the exterior hardware. Locks are missing on the third and fourth drawers. The lower drawer never had a lock and those on the upper two drawers are replacements. All but three drawer runners are replacements. Running strips along the bottom edges of all drawer sides are replacements. One drawer has a new side. The lower left corner of the backboard has been damaged and patched. The rear knee bracket on the right side is probably a replacement, as is the pendant drop. The bottom board has two new guide boards on its underside. The corners of the upper case have holes drilled in them which indicate that this section was once separated from its base and had feet attached to it. Source: Charles L. Venable, American Furniture in the Bybee Collection(Austin, Tex.: University of Texas Press, 1989), 16 and 18.

Bibliography

Joan Pearson Watkins Revocable Trust, "American Antiques in the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Bybee, Part I," Antiques 92, no. 6 (December 1967): 838, Bybee Collection Accession 1985.B22, ill.
Joan Pearson Watkins Revocable Trust and Elizabeth Bidwell Bates, American Furniture:1620 to the Present (New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1981), 112.
Charles L. Venable, American Furniture in the Bybee Collection (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989), 16–18, no. 7, Accession no. 1985.B22, ill.
Christie's, New York, Highly Important American Furniture, Silver, Paintings, Prints, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts, sale cat. (January 16, 1998), 155, lot 424, ill.