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Photo: The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wis. 1953.2
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High chest of drawers


Object number

RIF6085

Maker

Maker Unknown

Dimensions

172.4 x 101.44 x 57.79 cm (67 7/8 x 39 15/16 x 22 3/4 in.)

Date

1700–1730

Current location


Geography

Probably made in Providence, Rhode Island
(view a map of Rhode Island)

Medium

Walnut and walnut veneer (primary); pine (secondary)

Marks

None

Inscriptions

“2,” in graphite, on exterior back and bottom of upper middle drawer; “M [later],” in graphite, on exterior bottom of upper middle drawer; “3” and “R [later],” in graphite, on exterior bottom of proper-left middle drawer; numbers and symbols, in graphite, on exterior back of proper-left upper drawer; “/,” in chalk, on exterior backs of long drawers of upper case; “/,” in chalk, proper-left interior side of bottom drawer; illegible faint graphite, on interior bottom of upper case; “B,” in chalk, on underside of bottom board of upper case; “/,” in chalk, on interior backs of upper drawers of lower case; “13 pairs ? thread ? / 18[or 7]03,” in ink, on interior back of proper-right lower drawer; “2,” in graphite, on interior back of lower middle drawer of lower case; “/,” in graphite, on interior fronts of lower middle and proper-left drawers of lower case; “B,” in graphite, on interior proper-left side of lower middle drawer of lower case; “3,” in graphite, on interior back of proper-left lower drawer of lower case; “/,” in chalk, on exterior back of lower case

Style

William and Mary

Provenance

Israel Sack, Inc., New York; sold to Polly Mariner Stone (1898–1995) and Stanley Stone (1896–1987), Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1953; bequeathed by Stanley Stone to The Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, Wisconsin, 1987

Associated names

Israel Sack, Inc.
Stanley Stone
Polly Mariner Stone
The Chipstone Foundation

Construction

The single-board top of the upper case is half-blind dovetailed to the two-board upper-case sides. The pins vary in size, being larger with thicker necks toward the back of the case. A small, single-piece crown molding is fixed with wood-filled fasteners to the top of the case. The two-board upper-case bottom is half-blind dovetailed to the case sides, with pins varying in size, being smaller with thinner necks toward the back of the case. The upper-case back consists of four horizontal boards (the lower one replaced) fixed with rosehead nails into rabbets in the case sides. Within the upper case are four tip boards for the upper drawers, nailed with brads to the underside of the top. At the front of the case is a transverse batten into which the uprights supporting the upper drawers are set. These uprights, like the drawer dividers and case stiles below, are faced with a half-round molding nailed on with brads. The bottoms of the medial uprights are tenoned through the drawer divider below. Drawer supports are nailed with brads to the case sides, interspersed with rectangular drawer stops glued to the case sides. The three small and three long upper-case drawer fronts, each veneered to simulate two drawers, meet their flush, flat top drawer sides in dovetail joints, having large, finely cut, thick-necked pins with half-pins above and half-pins with rabbets below. The small-drawer single-board drawer bottoms are perpendicular to the front and full width, nailed with brads to the front and back, and secured to the sides in a manner covered by the full-depth runners. The long-drawer bottoms are similarly arranged, except for being parallel to the drawer fronts. The single-board lower-case backboard is half-blind dovetailed to the single-board, deeply scalloped lower-case sides. In each corner of the lower case is a vertical rectangular block, on top of which is a drawer runner, to which are attached drawer guides and stops for the two upper drawers, which also have a medial support/guide/stop configuration set into a groove in the backboard and half-lapped to the drawer divider in front. The bottom of the vertical element between the two upper drawers is tenoned through the drawer divider below. Its top meets the rabbeted front rail of the lower case in a dovetail joint. The small drawers below are separated by vertical drawer guides, set into grooves in the backboard, to which are attached runners for the upper and lower small drawers. At the front, these guides sit above shaped blocks, the proper left of which is fixed to the skirtboard with rosehead nails, atop the medial legs. The drawers are framed by a similar half-round molding and are constructed in a similar manner to the drawers above. The edge of the deeply scalloped skirt is fixed to it with rosehead nails. There is a thin square cap atop each vase, spool and inverted-cup-turned leg. This upper portion of each leg contains a dowel which passes through the flat, scalloped stretchers, into the spool and flattened-ball turned feet. The ends of the side stretchers are rabbeted on both sides to fit into grooves in the ends of the front and rear stretchers. Examined by P. E. Kane and J. N. Johnson, May 23, 2014; notes compiled by T. B. Lloyd.

Bibliography

Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Furniture at Chipstone (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984), 24–25, no. 11.
Ann Smart Martin, Makers and Users: American Decorative Arts, 1630–1820, from the Chipstone Collection, exh. cat. (Madison, Wis.: Elvehjem Museum of Art, 1999), 53, no. 37.
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), 154n1, 161n4.