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Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's, New York
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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF3096

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

181.61 x 98.425 x 52.07 cm (71 1/2 x 38 3/4 x 20 1/2 in.)

Date

1740–1760

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"T. B." incised on underside of central drawer support on the lower section; "Mary P... Murry" in graphite on bottom of a drawer in upper case

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

Sotheby's, New York, January 30– February 2, 1991, lot 1458. G. K. S. Bush, Inc., Washington, D.C., 1997. Sotheby's, New York, January 19-21, 2007, lot 590

Associated names

Sotheby's
G. K. S. Bush, Inc.

Construction

The two-board upper case top is dovetailed to the case sides. The upper case back consists of three lapped boards nailed into rabbets in the case sides. The single piece crown molding is held to the upper case by brads and sprigs nailed through the case top and by wood pins. Within the upper case are full-depth drawer supports nailed to the case sides with brads and a full-width support for the small drawers, nailed to the backboard with brads. Medial transverse small drawer supports are half-lapped to the support at the back. The small drawer stiles, set in grooves in the top rail above and the drawer divider below, have blind-jointed fronts. The top and bottom rails are set into grooves in the case sides. The drawer dividers are attached to the sides with half-blind dovetail joints. The upper case contains three small drawers (fitted with touch latches) above three graduated, lipped, thumb-molded long drawers, all of whose fronts are secured to their sides with dovetail joints having finely cut pins, with half-pins above and half-pins with grooves below. The tops of the drawer sides are slightly arched and shy of the drawer front tops. The tops of the drawer backs are chamfered at the back and eased at the ends. The drawer bottoms are set into grooves in the bottom of the drawer fronts and secured with full-depth runners. The two-board upper case bottom is dovetailed to the case sides. Its two-part base molding is not face-nailed, but attached by brads nailed through the case bottom. The lower case has a straight-skirted single-board back, dovetailed (and nailed) to the scalloped-skirted sides which are proper left, one board and proper right, two boards. There is a possibly later narrow horizontal board atop the lower case backboard. The lower case contains one long over three small-two deep centering one shallow-drawers above a scalloped skirt centering a pendant area now missing its drop. Within the case are full-depth supports for the long drawer, set into grooves in the backboard, and half-lapped to the drawer divider. Fixed to their tops are partial-depth supports set into grooves in the skirt board and backboards, and guides tenoned into the backer boards for the drawer stiles (which are set in grooves in the drawer divider above) and set into grooves in the backboard. Reinforcing the small drawer guides and supports below the central small drawer are vertical chamfered glue blocks. The cabriole legs are of the "detachable" sort, set within routed corners and having carved knee brackets, angular knees and slipper feet with chamfered heels. Examined by P.E. Kane, January 17, 2007; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 30 and February 2, 1991), lot 1458, ill.
"G. K. S. Bush, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 152, no. 1 (July 1997): 2.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana including Property Approved for Deaccession by the Board of Trustees of Historic Deerfield, Inc., sale cat. (January 19–21, 2007), 389, lot 590.