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Photo: Courtesy The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Va., Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Warren Koontz, G1977-225
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Chest of drawers

Object number



Maker John Townsend, American, 1732–1809


34 1/2 x 36 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. (87.63 x 92.075 x 48.895 cm)



Current location

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia


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


Mahogany (primary); chestnut (backboards, drawer supports, backings for drawer dividers, drawer stops, glue blocks at the joint of the top and front rail); yellow poplar (drawer linings, bottom board); maple (battens, backing of bottom rail)


"MADE BY/JOHN TOWNSEND /NEWPORT 179?" printed on a paper label glued centered inside the top drawer bottom.


"A" in graphite in center of the underside of the bottom board.




John S. Walton, New York, 1958; sold to Dr. and Mrs. Warren W. Koontz; given to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia, 1977

Associated names

Dr. and Mrs. Warren Koontz
John S. Walton

See also


Morrison H. Heckscher, "John Townsend's Block-and-Shell Furniture," Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1146, fig. 5.
Michael Moses, Master Craftsmen of Newport: The Townsends and Goddards (Tenafly, N.J.: MMI Americana Press, 1984), 136, p. 209, pl. 13, fig. 3.9, 3.54, 3.55,.
"The New DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery at Colonial Williamsburg," Antiques 128, no. 2 (August 1985): 269, ill.
Christie's, New York, Important American Furniture, Silver, Folk Art, and Decorative Arts: Including the Block and Shell Carved Chest of Drawers Made by John Townsend, sale cat. (June 18, 1998), 91, under lot 151, fig. 10, 10a.
Mack Headley, "Eighteenth-Century Cabinet Shops and the Furniture-Making Trades in Newport, Rhode Island," American Furniture (1999): 29, fig. 12.
Morrison H. Heckscher, John Townsend: Newport Cabinetmaker, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), 118–19, no. 20, ill.
Patricia E. Kane et al., Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2016), 453.