image of object
Photo: Courtesy Sotheby's
Click the image to enlarge

Dressing table


Object number

RIF4261

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

81.28 x 90.17 x 55.88 cm (32 x 35 1/2 x 22 in.)

Date

1750–1770

Current location

Unknown

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); white pine drawer bottoms, drawer supports and guides; chestnut drawer sides, backboard.

Inscriptions

"3," in chalk, on inside of proper left rear corner of long drawer; faint chalk numbers possibily on other rear drawer corners

Style

Queen Anne

Provenance

G. K. S. Bush, Inc., Washington, D.C., 1998. Sotheby's, New York, January 23–24, 2009, lot 182

Associated names

Margaret F. Hopkins
Jim Dickerson Auctions
G. K. S. Bush, Inc.
Jamee J. and Marshall Field
G. K. S. Bush, Inc.
Sotheby's

Construction

The single-board rectangular oblong top is molded on its front and side edges, where it is supported by a single-piece beaded cove molding, held on with brads. The cove molding is mitered under the overhang at the back, where an additional strip has been added to the top. The single-board, straight-skirted case back is attached to the single-board, scallop-skirted case sides with dovetail joints, having finely cut narrow-necked pins with half-pins above and below. Within the perimeter of the case interior, directly under the top, are continuous strips of wood, butt-jointed at each corner, and fixed to the underside of the top with rosehead nails, which secure the top to the case. A transverse cleat, half-lapped and fixed with a rosehead nail to the front strip and half-lapped and glued to the back strip, prevents the top drawer from tipping forward when opened. The long drawer has supports half-lapped to its dustboard and set into grooves in the case back. Fixed to the tops of these supports are drawer guides. The small drawers have supports set in grooves in the back board and half-lapped and wedged to the skirt board. Each small drawer has two guides?one, probably later, nailed into the replaced glue blocks at the tops of the legs, and another, dovetailed into the skirt board and set into a groove in the back. There are two filled grooves, laid out with scribe lines, on the inside of the back board, close to the top. The case contains one long and two small lipped, thumb-molded drawers. The scalloped skirt centers a carved shell within an incised circle, behind which a protruding nail shaft and a rectangular shadow suggests the former presence of a reinforcing block. The upper, long drawer-front joins its arched-top drawer sides with dovetails, including narrow-necked pins, half-pins above, and half-pins with grooves below. The two-board drawer bottom, parallel to the front, is set into the groove in the drawer front and fixed to the sides with full-depth runners. The small-drawer fronts join their arched-top sides in dovetail joints with narrow-necked pins, half-pins above, and half-pins with rabbets below. The full-width drawer bottoms are perpendicular to the fronts and nailed with brads to the fronts, backs, and sides. The cabriole legs, of the "detachable" sort, are held into the case corners by later glue brackets and nails (through the back board), have knee brackets attached with nails, angular knees, rounded ankles, and shod pad feet bearing holes which suggest the former presence of casters. Examined by P.E. Kane, December 23, 2009; notes compiled by T.B. Lloyd

Bibliography

"G. K. S. Bush, Inc., advertisement," Antiques 154, no. 4 (October 1998): ill.
Sotheby's, New York, Important Americana, sale cat. (January 23–24, 2009), lot 182, ill.