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Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's, New York
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High chest of drawers, base only


Object number

RIF835

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

Overall: 96.52 x 105.41 x 53.975cm (38 x 41 1/2 x 21 1/4in.)

Date

1760–1780

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); Eastern white pine (frame elements of case, backboard, drawer interiors, some drawer supports, drawer guides); yellow poplar (right lower drawer support and guides)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"A," in chalk, on interior back of long drawer; "B," "C," and "D," in chalk, on interior backs of lower drawers; "3," "5," and "1," in chalk on interior case back; illegible inscription, in chalk, on skirt behind shell; illegible inscription, in graphite, on top of divider below long drawer

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

John S. Walton Antiques, Inc., Old Lyme, Connecticut; sold to Ann Holzer (1917–1999) and Philip Holzer (1919–2011), Great Neck, New York, 1975; consigned to Sotheby's, New York, January 20–21, 2012, lot 206

Associated names

Ann Holzer
Philip Holzer
Sotheby's
John S. Walton Antiques, Inc.

Construction

The (later) top is molded on three sides and square-edged at the rear. It is attached to the case with two screw pockets at the backboard and two screw pockets at the top rail. The single-board case back has a square edge and serpentine skirt and is attached to the serpentine-skirted single-board sides with dovetail joints. The case contains one long and three small thumb-molded drawers above a serpentine skirt centering a vigorously carved shell. The top rail, vertical and horizontal drawer dividers are attached to the case and each other in grooves. The joints are covered by mahogany. The long drawer rests on drawer supports set into grooves in the case sides and back. The drawer supports bear empty dovetails where a transverse brace once joined them. A central support for the upper drawer is set into a groove in the backboard and dovetailed into the skirt above the shell. The vertical drawer dividers are set in grooves in the horizontal divider and skirt and further held by vertical rectangular glue blocks with chamfered ends. Behind them are drawer guides, mortised into the skirt and backboard. The lower drawers have supports dovetailed into the skirt and tenoned into the backboard as well as drawer guides attached to the case sides with rosehead nails. The drawer sides have chamfered tops well shy of the drawer fronts. The tops of the drawer backs are square. The long drawer and central small drawer bottoms are flat and parallel to their drawer fronts; the deep lower drawer bottoms (also flat) are perpendicular. The central lower drawer front has two dovetails, one thick-necked pin with half-pins above and below and a drawer bottom set into a rabbet and nailed to the sides and back. The lower drawer fronts are similarly configured, with thinner-necked pins. The long drawer front has three dovetails, some reinforced with brads. Its drawer bottom is set into a rabbet below and is fitted with a runner. The angular detachable cabriole legs are held in place by vertical glue blocks, some rectangular, some chamfered, some reinforced with rosehead nails. The rear legs are uncarved, have knees which protrude beyond the case back and raised pad feet. The front legs have knees and knee brackets (attached with glue and roseheads) carved with stylized foliage above a stylized shell, ending in claw and ball feet with partially undercut balls and undercut talons. Examined by P. E. Kane and W. S. Braznell, January 14, 2012; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Notes

The talons on the front feet are undercut and there is also an opening above the ball.

Bibliography

Philip Holzer, Philip and Ann Holzer Collection (n.p.: privately printed, 1990), 68–69, no. 24, fig. 24.1–24.3.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana: Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Porcelain, Prints, and Carpets, sale cat. (January 20–21, 2012), 149, lot 206.