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Chest-on-chest


Object number

RIF5608

Maker

Maker: attributed to Thomas Townsend, 1742–1827

Dimensions

209.55 x 107.95 x 50.8 cm (82 1/2 x 42 1/2 x 20 in.)

Date

1750–1780

Current location

Private collection

Geography

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

Medium

Mahogany (primary); chestnut (brackets on rear feet, front bottom board of lower case, top board of lower case, bottoms of long drawers of upper case, drawer supports and guides for lower drawer of upper case, bottom of upper case, and glue blocks at bottom front of upper case and bottoms of lower case drawers); pine (horizontal glue blocks on feet); yellow poplar (touch latches, back boards, bonnet boards, upper and lower case drawer sides, drawer runners, rear bottom board of lower case, and drawer dividers, supports, and stops of upper case)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

Upper case: "4," in chalk, on inside surfaces of proper-right side and top of case; "3," in chalk, on inside surfaces of proper-left side and top of case; "t," in chalk, on top surface of blocks behind quarter columns; inscription, [possibly "Captain Captain"], in chalk, on exterior surface of upper long drawer back; "1/1," "2/2," "3/3," and "4/4," in graphite, in corners of short drawers and middle and lower long drawers; "2," in chalk, on interior back of proper-left top short drawer; "(617) 592-5262 / Restored By / ATTWILL FURNITURE CO. / RONALD M. TRAPASSO /LYNN, MASS. / DATE 10/17/1985 [date written in pencil]," printed in red, on paper label glued to back board of case; "This [missing text] ...operty of Mrs. Randall / Mrs. Ra... C. Bosch and (or) / Dr. Th... B. Bayles," typed, on label with the signature "[?] Bayles," in ink, on paper label on back board of case. Lower case: "4," in chalk, on inside surfaces of proper-left side and top of case; "3," in chalk, on inside surfaces of proper-right side and top of lower case; "t," on top surface of blocks behind quarter columns; "1/1," "2/2," "3/3," and "4/4," in graphite, in drawer corners; "X," in graphite, on outside back of second drawer from top; illegible inscription, in chalk, on outside back of second drawer from top

Style

Chippendale

Provenance

Mrs. Randall C. Bosch (née Marthena Bayles, 1903–1963); Dr. Theodore B. Bayles (ca. 1911–1979), Boston. Private collection, 1985

Associated names

Marthena Bosch
Dr. Theodore B. Bayles

Construction

The upper case roof consists of multiple transverse boards shaped to align with, and nailed with brads to the bonnet-shaped backboard and scrollboard and four transverse battens. The uppermost roof board is fitted with two pairs of metal hinges on its proper right side, screwed into the neighboring roof board and interior batten below, and to a transverse strip through the hinged roof board above. Within the storage cavity of the bonnet are horizontal rectangular glue blocks at the joints between the single-board upper case top and the scrollboard and the single-board bonnet back. The bonnet backboard is nailed with brads into the rabbeted single-board case sides. Also nailed into the case sides, with brads countersunk into its back and top, is a single-piece beaded crown molding. Below are three horizontal backboards, half-lapped together, and attached with rosehead nails to the rabbeted upper case sides and upper case bottom, and a vertical batten and drawer stops within the upper case. The upper case sides are attached to the upper case top with dovetail joints. The crown molding follows the broken pediment. The lower beaded portion continues around the three-quarter round cutouts below, pieced into the pediment molding just shy of its termini. The molded cutouts center a fluted, rectangular plinth, with molded base and top, upon which sits a three-quarter spherical fluted finial with corkscrew flame. Small, simple plinths sit at the front corners of the upper case. The single-board upper-case bottom is dovetailed to the case sides and to the blocking behind the quarter columns, is fitted with a narrow horizontal cleat held on with rosehead nails, and is nailed with brads into the lower rail. A rabbeted, single-piece base molding is nailed through its back into the case sides with countersunk rosehead nails, and through its underside into the bottom rail above. Within the case are narrow strips just below the upper-case top board, nailed with brads and rosehead nails to the blocking behind the quarter columns, and set in grooves in the backboard, which keep the upper drawers from tipping forward. The two small drawers have a central support half-lapped to their dustboard and, like the three long drawers below, full-depth drawer supports set into grooves in the continuous vertical drawer stops attached with nails through the backboards and into grooves in the quarter column blocking. Drawer guides are glued to the top of the drawer supports and the insides of the case sides. The dustboards have mahogany fronts, and meet the case sides with half-blind dovetail joints, as does the scrollboard. The bottom rail of the upper case, behind which are three horizontal chamfered glue blocks, fits into grooves in the case sides. The top of the stile between the top drawers meets the top rail in a blind joint. The lipped, thumb-molded drawer fronts meet their sides in dovetail joints, having many finely cut, thin-necked pins, with half-pins above and below. The drawer sides have rounded tops which flatten towards the back to align with the flat-topped drawer backs. The drawer sides are nearly flush with the drawer fronts, which have prominent kerf marks. The small drawers have touch latches attached with brads and rosehead nails. The long drawer bottoms are parallel to the fronts and are chamfered at the front, and at the sides, where they are secured by applied runners. Some drawer bottoms are pieced at the back, where they are nailed with brads. The lower case and drawers are constructed in a manner similar to those above. The ends of a vertical batten, nailed to the inside of the four-brad case back, are visible through both the two-board case top and case bottom, which are dovetailed to the single-board case sides. The front feet consist of chamfered vertical blocks, attached directly to the case bottom, flanked by carved horizontal blocks, the whole faced with ogee brackets. The rear feet have ogee side brackets and horizontal blocks. Their rear brackets are simple straight-sided ogee brackets fit into slots in the mahogany side brackets. Examined by P. E. Kane and W. S. Braznell, August 21, 2012; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd