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Photo: Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery, Mabel Brady Garvan Collection, 1930.2310
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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF1193

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

84 1/2 x 38 1/2 x 20 1/2 in. (214.63 x 97.79 x 52.07 cm)

Date

1760–1780

Current location

Yale University Art Gallery

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); mahogany (glue blocks supporting vertical drawer dividers of lower case); yellow poplar (linings of drawers in upper case, sides and bottoms of side drawers in lower case, bottom of middle drawer in lower case, bonnet roof, and backing of vertical drawer dividers of lower case); chestnut (backs of side drawers in lower case, sides and back of middle drawer in lower case, top boards of lower case, bottom and top boards of upper case, backboards of lower case, upper case, and bonnet, some drawer supports, and backing of horizontal drawer dividers); soft maple (backing of vertical drawer divider of upper case and proper-left glue block supporting vertical drawer divider of upper case); eastern pine (bottom of wide drawer in lower case, some glueblocks, and some drawer supports)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

Strips of newspaper, probably a New York City paper of April 1885, are pasted across several shrinkage cracks and holes in the backboards of the upper case; "top[?]," in chalk, on exterior surface of lower case top; "3," in chalk, on interior back of one upper drawer; "153," in graphite, on the underside of upper case bottom; "G 153," in black, on the interior bottom wide drawer in the lower case; "C 53," in black, on the interior back and bottom of lowest drawer in the upper case; "upper drawer," in graphite, on exterior proper-left side of first wide drawer in upper case; "middle drawer," in graphite, on exterior proper-left side of middle wide drawer in upper case

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Herbert Lawton, Boston, before 1928; consigned to The Anderson Galleries, Inc., New York, January 6–7, 1928, lot 275; sold to Brooks Reed Gallery, Inc., Boston; sold to Francis P. Garvan (1975–1937), New York, 1929; given to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, 1930

Associated names

Anderson Galleries
Brooks Reed Gallery, Inc.
Francis P. Garvan
Herbert Lawton

Construction

In the upper case, the top and bottom are dovetailed to the sides, and the horizontal backboards are joined with a half lap and nailed to rabbets in the sides and to the top and bottom with rosehead nails. The drawers in line are supported by a joined framework; runners for the other drawers are nailed to the sides. There is a vertical reinforcing strip nailed to the center of the inside of the back; there are no blocks behind the bottom front rail. The dovetail that joins the drawer dividers to the side is exposed. The vertical partition between the drawers in line is nailed through the drawer divider. The bonnet is roofed with boards nailed to the front and to the semicircular backboard. There are no transverse partitions within the bonnet. The top of the lower case consists of a longitudinal board at the front dovetailed to the sides, with several butted transverse boards fitted to it and nailed to the back. The back is dovetailed to the sides, and the legs are fitted in the usual Newport manner, supported by glue blocks and extending to only about half the height of the lower case. There are side drawer runners for the wide drawers and central runners for the small drawers in line. The vertical partitions are again nailed through the drawer dividers. On each drawer, the sides are dovetailed to the front and back, and the top edge of the sides is rounded. In most of the drawers, the bottoms are let into grooves in the front and nailed to the underside of the sides and back, with running strips applied; however, on the three drawers in line in the lower case, the bottoms are let into a rabbet in the front, and running strips are not used. The four wide drawers are fitted with a central brass lock escutcheon flanked by matching escutcheons with bail pulls; the small drawers in each case are fitted with matching brasses with bail pulls. Source: Gerald W. R. Ward, American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University, (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery), 268-269.

Bibliography

Anderson Galleries, New York, Important American Furniture: Collected by the Well Known Connoisseur Mr. Herbert Lawton, sale cat. (January 6–7, 1928), 94, lot 275, ill.
Ralph E. Carpenter, Jr., The Arts and Crafts of Newport, Rhode Island, 1640–1820 (Newport, R.I.: Preservation Society of Newport County, 1954), 68, 209, no. 42, ill.
Gerald W. R. Ward, American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988), 265, 268–270, no. 141, ill.
Luke Beckerdite and Alan Miller, "Furniture Fakes from the Chipstone Collection," American Furniture, 2002 (2002): 63, fig. 17–18.