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Photo: Courtesy The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wis., 1999.3, photo by Gavin Ashworth
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Dressing table


Object number

RIF2447

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

Height: 72.39 cm (28 1/2 in.); Width, case: 81.915 cm (32 1/4 in.); Depth, case: 50.8 cm (20 in.); Width, top: 90.17 cm (35 1/2 in.); Depth, top: 59.055 cm (23 1/4 in.)

Date

1705–1735

Current location

The Chipstone Foundation

Geography

Probably made in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, or possibly made in Newport, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Maple (legs, veneer, case sides, back, blocks at tops of legs, and stretchers); walnut (veneer); pine (drawer linings, drawer supports, kick bars, backs of muntins, front posts beneath veneer, and top beneath veneer)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

Leigh Keno American Antiques label glued on interior back of middle drawer

Style

William and Mary

Provenance

By descent in an unknown family, East Greenwich, Rhode Island; sold in 1958 to Erwin W. Deines; sold in 1989 to Leigh Keno American Antiques, New York; sold in 1989 to a Virginia private collection; sold in 1996 to Leigh Keno American Antiques; sold in 1999 to The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wisconsin

Associated names

Erwin W. Deines
Leigh Keno American Antiques
Leigh Keno American Antiques

Construction

The rectangular two-board top has bread-board ends and thumb-molded edges. It is elaborately veneered and secured to its case by six metal brackets, two at each side and two at the back. Some brackets are of recent, some of older manufacture. At each joint between top and case side is a long rectangular block, nailed with brads to the case sides. The single-board flat-skirted case back is half-blind dovetailed to the single-board, unveneered case sides, which have scalloped skirts, to which are attached, with a variety of nails, thin strips of wood. Within the case are full-height guides between the central and flanking drawers, set into grooves in the case back and front. Each drawer has a narrow support, whose front ends are set into dovetails in the case front and whose chamfered back ends are set into grooves in the case back. Beneath the front of the drawer guides are rectangular blocks into which turned acorn pendants are set. The case has no top rail. The edge of the deeply scalloped front skirt is also trimmed with a narrow strip of wood attached with rosehead and other nails. The three veneered drawer fronts – lipped, thumb-molded and cross-banded on their side and bottom edges only – meet their flat-topped, kerf-marked drawer sides in dovetail joints, having large, narrow-necked pins with half-pins above and half-pins with rabbets below. Some dovetails are reinforced with brads. The single-board, full-width drawer bottoms, perpendicular to the fronts, are nailed into the rabbet in front and to the sides and backs with brads. At the bottom of each corner of the case is a rectangular block, chamfered at the bottom, to which is nailed with brads a rectangular cap, into which is set an elaborate vase, reel and inverted-cup-turned leg. The legs are joined by two curvilinear single-piece stretchers, half-lapped together at their central meeting point, where they are joined with later screws (originally nailed with brads). An acorn-shaped finial is doweled through the joint between them. There is a dowel in the underside of the bun feet below. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, May 23, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

"Leigh Keno American Antiques advertisement," Antiques 135, no. 5 (May 1989): 1052, 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), 172–174, no. 15, fig. 1 (detail).