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Photo: Courtesy of Gary R. Sullivan Antiques Inc., Sharon, Mass.; photo by Matthew J. Buckley
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Chest of drawers


Object number

RIF3431

Maker

Maker Unknown
Maker: formerly attributed to John Townsend, American, 1732–1809

Dimensions

79.058 x 96.52 x 53.34 cm (31 1/8 x 38 x 21 in.)

Date

1780–1800

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); pine (secondary)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

"Back," in chalk, on the exterior back of the two center drawers; "B" through "D," in chalk, on interior back of three lower drawers [from top to bottom]; "C,” in graphite, on top of divider under second drawer from top

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc., Sharon, Massachusetts, 2007; sold to private collection

Associated names

Gary R. Sullivan Antiques, Inc.

Construction

The oblong, single-board top is molded on its straight sides and serpentine front and supported visually by a small cove molding which extends beyond the top slightly in back, where it returns upon itself. The top is secured to its conformingly shaped case by three longitudinal battens fixed with rosehead nails to its underside and dovetailed to the single-board case sides. Further connection is made by two large screws, one at each end of the underside of the case?s top rail. The case back consists of two lap-jointed horizontal boards fixed with rosehead and other nails into rabbets in the case sides and bottom and directly to the rear sub-top batten. The stiles and drawer dividers of the case have cockbeading applied with wood-filled fasteners. The drawer dividers are serpentine at the front and at the back, and are set into grooves in the case sides. Full-depth drawer supports are fixed to the case sides with rosehead nails. The lower drawer has no supports but rests on the top of the single-board case bottom, which is aligned with the bottom rail. The solid, single-board, kerf-marked serpentine drawer fronts meet their flush, flat-topped (the edges are chamfered slightly at the front) drawer sides in dovetail joints having finely cut, narrow-necked pins of slightly varying thicknesses, with half-pins above and half-pins below. The roughly planed, single-board drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts and chamfered at the front and sides, where they fit into grooves. There are full-depth blocks, to which are glued later full-depth runners, at the joints between drawer bottom and side. The bottoms are nailed to the backs with brads. A base molding is fixed to the front of the case with rosehead nails through the top of the case bottom. The base moldings at the sides are mitered to the front portion and cover the joints between the case sides and bottom. Together they comprise a three-sided frame around the front and sides of the case bottom, to which the feet are attached. Each front foot consists of a shaped vertical block attached directly to the base molding frame and flanked by horizontal shaped glue blocks, the whole faced with ogee brackets. The rear feet are configured similarly, except for their back brackets, which are straight-profiled ogee brackets (the proper right rear foot has some replaced elements) set into a groove in the inside face of the outside-facing ogee bracket. The back-facing edges of the rear feet?s outside brackets have an ogee profile. Atop the back face of each rear foot is a narrow horizontal block shaped to align with the upper curve of the rear bracket. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, July 1, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

"Newport Chest-Chippendale pulls," http://www.garysullivanantiques.com/Furniture.htm (accessed October 11, 2010).