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Photo: Courtesy Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, N.H.
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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF1981

Maker

Maker Unknown
Maker: formerly attributed to Christopher Townsend, 1701-1787

Dimensions

177.8 x 96.52 x 50.8 cm (70 x 38 x 20 in.)

Date

1740–1760

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Maple (primary); chesnut (upper case top); pine (backboards and upper case bottom); yellow poplar (drawer linings)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"1 B 1," in graphite, separated by a cipher, on exterior back of one small upper case drawer;"B2 B2," in graphite, separated by a cipher, on exterior back of other small upper case drawer; "1," twice, separated by a cipher, exterior back of one lower case deep drawer; "2," twice, separated by a cipher, exterior back of other lower case deep drawer; "ID," incised, possibily on underside of upper case bottom

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Sherwood Smith. Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, March 2, 2002, lot 44. G.K.S. Bush, Inc., New York, and Nantucket, Massachusetts, November 2003

Associated names

Sherwood Smith
Northeast Auctions
Peter Tillou

Construction

The upper case has a two-board top joined to its sides with dovetails, concealed by a one-piece crown molding. The upper case back consists of two horizontal butt-jointed boards, nailed with rosehead nails into rabbets in the case sides and top and into the back of the case bottom. The top and bottom rails fit into grooves in the case sides, and the intervening drawer dividers are attached to the case sides with half-blind dovetail joints. The two small and three long thumbmolded and graduated drawer fronts are joined to their drawer sides with dovetail joints, having large, thick-necked pins with half-pins above and below. The two-board drawer bottoms run parallel to the fronts, where they fit into grooves, are chamfered at the front and sides, and have applied runners. The two upper small drawers are fitted with touch latches. The top of the upper case interior has blocks within to prevent the top drawers from tipping. There are three longitudinal rectangular glue blocks at the joint between the bottom rail and the case bottom. The drawers have full-depth supports nailed into the case sides. The lower case has a single-board back into which are set in grooves the drawer supports and guides for the single long drawer and two deep and one shallow small drawers below. The lower case sides have scalloped skirts, as does the front skirt, which centers a molded drop for a missing pendant. The angular cabriole legs are of the "detachable" sort, held into the case corners with vertical rectangular glue blocks and ending in slipper feet. Examined by P.E. Kane and W.S. Braznell, February 2002; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

"Auction Results," Maine Antique Digest (May 2002): 3–E, ill.
Northeast Auctions, Portsmouth, N.H., Estate Collection of American Furniture and Chinese Export Porcelain, sale cat. (March 2, 2002), 12, lot 44, ill.
"G. K. S. Bush, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 164, no. 5 (November 2003): 2.