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Photo: Courtesy G. K. S. Bush, Inc.
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Dressing table


Object number

RIF1536

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

82.55 x 86.995 x 53.34 cm (32 1/2 x 34 1/4 x 21 in.)

Date

1750–1760

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); pine (drawer bottoms, blocks, and some drawer guides); chestnut (drawer sides, case back, and some drawer supports)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"This lowboy belonged to Electra Pearce / Boleyn my mother's mother who was / married in 1797./ Annie B. Clarke," written, in ink on a paper glued to one side of long drawer; illegible, in graphite, on exterior back of long drawer

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Electra Pearce Boleyn (1774–1850), Northampton, Massachusetts; by descent to her granddaughter Annie B. Clarke. G. K. S. Bushin, Inc., Washington, D.C., 1995; sold to private collection

Associated names

Electa Pearce Boleyn
Annie B. Clarke
G. K. S. Bush, Inc.

Construction

The oblong, rectangular, single-board top is molded on its front and side edges, where it is supported by a single-piece beaded cove molding. The top overhangs slightly at the back. It is secured to the case by screws through longitudinal battens – one at the front, and one at the back of its underside – and by horizontal, rectangular glued blocks at the joints between the top and the single-board, scallop-skirted case sides, which are joined to the single-board, straight-skirted case back in dovetail joints. There is a single brad in the backboard nailed through into the rear batten. The case contains full-depth supports for the long upper drawer, set into grooves in the back board. Upon them are glued full-depth drawer guides. The two small drawers below have outer supports fixed to the case sides with rosehead nails, bottom supports set into grooves in the case back and half-lapped and nailed with brads to the skirt board, and drawer guides set into grooves in the back board and tenoned into blocks behind the skirt board. The scalloped skirt centers a carved shell within an incised half-circle. The small drawers have arched-top sides slightly shy of their drawer fronts, which bear prominent kerf marks. Fronts and sides meet in dovetail joints, having finely cut pins (some reinforced with rosehead nails), with half-pins above and half-pins with grooves below. The two boards of the small drawer bottoms are perpendicular to the front, and fixed to the back with rosehead nails. Runners are nailed with brads to the drawer sides above the top rail and drawer dividers meet their respective surrounding elements in blind joints. The legs are of the "detachable" sort, held into the case corners with vertical chamfered glue blocks, reinforced at the proper left rear leg with screws, and at the proper right rear leg with rails. The cabriole legs are square-sectioned, have knee brackets held with glue and nails, angular knees and ankles, project beyond the back board, and end in slipper feet. Examined by P.E. Kane, March 11, 2004; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd

Bibliography

"G. K. S. Bush, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 147, no. 4 (April 1995): 475, ill.